Five Tips to Protect Your Identity, Sony Employee or Not
The cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment has captured global attention. News stories have covered everything from intellectual property rights to state-sponsored crime—with a hefty dose of Hollywood gossip thrown into the mix.
But something we can’t overlook are the innocent victims: the Sony employees, who’ve had their personally identifiable information—including Social Security numbers and birthdates—stolen and shared with the world.
As a result of the cyber attack, these employees are now at increased risk of identity fraud. With the victims’ personal information in hand, criminals can open new bank accounts and take out loans in their names, and even steal their tax refunds.
At LifeLock, we work with identity theft victims every day—helping them resolve their situations and clear their good names. That’s why we wanted to share tips that identity theft victims should consider, whether Sony employees or not:
1. Change your passwords. Your email accounts probably contain a lot of personal information, maybe even credentials for other accounts. Your financial accounts should also be high on your list, including your bank, credit card and brokerage accounts. And don’t forget your social media accounts. Make sure your new passwords are strong.
In this video, LifeLock education advisor Jean Chatzky has some simple tips for doing so.
2. If your Social Security number has been taken, order your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies:
Equifax: (800) 525-6285
TransUnion: (800) 680-7289
Experian: (888) 397-3742
When you call each credit reporting agency, you’ll have the opportunity to place a fraud alert on your report. The initial alert will last for only 90 days. It’s renewable using the same phone number and procedure you used to place your first fraud alert.
3. Call the Identity Theft Resource Center at (800) 400-5530. They can answer many of your questions and help you determine additional actions you should take to help protect yourself.
4. Monitor your transactions by keeping an eye on your credit and debit card accounts, looking for any transactions that you didn’t make. And report any suspicious transaction immediately using the phone number on the back of your credit or debit card.
5. If a retailer or employer offers you free credit monitoring as a result of a breach, take advantage of it. But recognize that credit monitoring doesn’t take the place of comprehensive identity theft protection.
Want to learn more? We asked an independent journalist to research and write a book on identity theft. The result is Stolen Identity, What Anyone with a Name, Birthdate and Social Security Number Needs to Know Now. It’s available at Amazon and other booksellers.
And if you’re interested in the identity theft protection services we offer at LifeLock, check out our website, or call us at (800) 607-7205.
Symantec Corporation, the world’s leading cyber security company, allows organizations, governments, and people to secure their most important data wherever it lives. More than 50 million people and families rely on Symantec’s Norton and LifeLock comprehensive digital safety platform to help protect their personal information, devices, home networks, and identities.