You’ll soon have another way to protect your credit. A new federal law, which takes effect Sept. 21, will allow you to get free credit freezes for yourself and your children, and year-long fraud alerts, according to the Federal Trade…
With this week’s news of another massive data breach, you might be left feeling exposed.
In the latest breach, Capital One announced that the private information of more than 100 million people had been stolen. This comes on the heels of last week’s announcement about the Equifax Data Breach Settlement.
While you have little control over when these events occur, there are steps you can take to protect your personal information and minimize the impact of breaches when they do happen.
Latest on the Equifax breach
Last week, the Federal Trade Commission announced that roughly half the U.S. population will receive benefits under a settlement the FTC and others reached with Equifax.
The credit reporting company agreed to spend up to $425 million to help those impacted by the 2017 data breach that exposed the Social Security numbers and other sensitive information of 147 million people.
Consumers can file claims for:
- Free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services
- Cash payments (up to $20,000 per person)
Even if you don’t file a claim, you can receive:
- Free help recovering from identity theft
- Free credit reports for all U.S. consumers
Check out ftc.gov/Equifax to learn more about these benefits, start the claim process and maybe even earn some cash.
File your claim by Jan. 22, 2020.
But use caution when filing. The FTC warned Monday of fraudsters who might already be creating fake websites to appear like the official Equifax settlement claims site.
Capital One data breach
On Monday, Capital One Bank announced a suspect had gained unauthorized access to the personal data of more than 100 million people. It’s one of the largest thefts of data from a bank, according to the New York Times. The FBI arrested a suspect Monday.
“Based on our analysis to date, we believe it is unlikely that the information was used for fraud or disseminated by this individual,” the bank said Monday. “However, we will continue to investigate.”
Stolen personal information came from credit card applications from consumers and small businesses, submitted between 2005 and early 2019, according to Capital One. Stolen information included:
- Zip codes
- Phone numbers
- Email addresses
- Dates of birth
- Self-reported income
- Credit scores
- Credit limits
- Payment history
- Some transaction data from 2016, 2017 and 2018
In addition, about 140,000 Social Security numbers and about 80,000 linked bank account numbers of secured credit card customers were stolen, the bank reported. However, no credit card account numbers or log-in credentials were compromised.
“We will notify affected individuals through a variety of channels,” Capital One said. “We will make free credit monitoring and identity protection available to everyone affected.”
Other steps you can take
Unfortunately, data breaches are a common occurrence.
But there are steps you can take year-round to help keep your accounts and identity safe. And Dupaco is here to help.
|1| Monitor your credit
With Dupaco’s Bright Track, you can keep tabs on your full credit report and credit score. The free credit monitoring service, which is a member benefit, will alert you to any potential breaches that hit your credit report.
Not only does the service help you keep an eye out for fraud, but it offers personalized tips to help you build or maintain your credit score. (The higher your score, the better loan rates you’ll qualify for.)
You can access the service within Shine Online and Mobile Banking.
|2| Use safer online log-ins
Protect your Shine account with two-step verification. The extra security feature helps prevent fraudsters from accessing your account—even if they manage to get your password.
In addition to your username and password, two-step verification requires a second form of authentication, or proof that it’s you trying to log in.
The second step typically arrives in the form of a unique four-digit security code—sent via text or email—that you enter each time you log in.
So, even if someone manages to get your username and password, two-step verification prevents that person from accessing your accounts without that unique code.
The security feature is an included benefit of Dupaco membership.
|3| Use identity theft restoration coverage
As a member of Dupaco, you have access to Family ID Restoration, special coverage designed to help you recover from identity theft.
If you or an immediate family member fall victim to identity theft, the coverage provides you:
- Personalized help from a Certified Resolution Specialist.
- Assistance restoring your identity.
- Up to $25,000 in expense reimbursement assistance.
- Coverage for your immediate family.
The service costs $1.95 per month.
|4| Set up activity alerts
Stay on top of your Dupaco accounts with eNotifiers.
Within Shine Online and Mobile Banking, you can set up alerts to receive instant notifications for ATM and Visa credit card transactions, online and mobile banking sign-ins and more.
Receive alerts via text or email. Use Dupaco’s standard alerts, or create your own.
This way, if there’s fraudulent activity on your accounts, you’ll be the first to know.
|5| Remember the Card Security feature
If your Dupaco debit or credit card has been lost, stolen or compromised, you can take swift action to protect your account.
Within Shine Mobile Banking, you can easily disable your card to prevent unauthorized purchases. Go to Account Safety, then Card Security to disable—and enable—your Dupaco cards.
Once disabled, your card will remain unusable until you reactivate it.