Here are steps that you can take to protect your personal information from being abused.
Find out if your information may have been exposed.
You can do this by entering your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number at Equifax's website. The site will disclose if you if you've been affected by the data breach.
Consider enrolling for a free year of credit monitoring.
U.S. Equifax consumers are eligible for year of free credit monitoring and other services regardless of whether or no your information was exposed.
Be sure to monitor your accounts for any unusual activity.
Accounts on your credit reports that you didn't open, incorrect personal information on your credit reports, and credit inquiries from companies that you've never contacted. These are all potential signs of fraud or identity theft.
Consider placing a credit freeze.
Placing a credit freeze on your credit makes it more difficult for a thief to open a new account in your name. Remember that a credit freeze cannot prevent a thief from making changes to your existing accounts.
Consider setting a fraud alert.
This will require creditors to verify your identity before issuing a credit card, opening a new account or increasing a credit limit on an existing account. A fraud alert will not prevent a lender from opening credit in your name in the same way that a freeze does, but it will require lenders to take additional steps to verify your identity first.