We have fielded questions from several clients regarding the Equifax data breach which relates to your personal credit file. The biggest concern lies with hackers looking to steal personal information to open bank accounts, lines of credit, and new credit cards.
Our partner custodian, TD Ameritrade, has systems in place to prevent an unauthorized transfer, or loss of any type, due to hacking. TD spends millions on cyber security every year, and it is an ongoing focus of theirs, along with all the other custodians (Schwab, Fidelity, etc.). Additionally, TD Ameritrade reimburses client accounts for losses due to unauthorized activity. Finally, we have a close eye on all our client accounts, monitoring for any suspicious or uncharacteristic activity.
We’re happy to discuss your options for protecting your personal credit file, which boils down to subscribing to a credit monitoring service to monitor the credit bureaus, or if you are really concerned, freezing your credit file.
- Here is a link that compares what are probably the two leading monitoring service firms, LifeLock and Identity Guard. The comparison is useful in that it lists most of the available credit-related services, which can help you decide what level of protection you want.
- Here is some useful information from the Federal Trade Commission on other steps you can take, such as confirming whether your information was exposed and reviewing your free annual credit report.
- Finally, if you do decide you want to do more than subscribe to a monitoring service, here is information on placing a credit freeze.
You can place a credit freeze with all four credit reporting companies online.
As always, let us know if you have questions!