Remember: Protect your credit after Equifax data breach

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Remember: Protect your credit after Equifax data breach. Nydia Han reports during Action News at 5:30pm on September 27, 2017. (WPVI)

Equifax CEO Richard Smith stepped down on Tuesday, and considering the company's terribly bungled response to this massive data breach, it should come as no surprise.

"It's interesting because he was scheduled to appear next week before the Senate banking committee to talk about the data breach," said Janet Alvarez, the Executive Editor for Wisebread.com.

Meantime, many consumers are taking action to protect themselves after that breach: Signing up for things like credit monitoring and fraud alerts.

But if you haven't taken action yet, now is the time.

So if you haven't yet taken action, this is the time. Equifax is now offering free security freezes as well as refunds to people who already paid for one.

As of September 7, if you paid for a credit freeze, you'll get your money back and through November 21st, you can get a credit freeze for free from them now.

Alvarez says you can call or email Equifax to get your refund. And remember: to get that free Equifax credit freeze, you must sign up on or before November 21.

Also freeze your reports with Experian and TransUnion. You have to do that separately.

Freezes will cost you an average of three to $10.

"And keep in mind, too, that a credit freeze has to be unlocked and reinstated every time you apply for credit, so just because you do it once, doesn't mean you're in the clear. You need to install a credit freeze each time," Alvarez said.

And there is a fourth credit reporting company.

"And the fourth one is called Innovis, and the reason why Innovis is lesser known is it deals with smaller pieces of credit," Alvarez said.

Innovis tracks things like whether you've paid your gym membership or magazine subscription on time

"You need to freeze your credit or put a fraud alert on Innovis as well to make sure you're really protected," Alvarez said.

For more about Innovis, visit Innovis.com.

For more on the Equifax Breach:

https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/
https://www.annualcreditreport.com/
https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/

And see our previous Action News reports here:

6abc.com/2408738/
6abc.com/1781766/

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