Louisiana's Office of Motor Vehicles is currently grappling with a massive cyberattack that, according to officials, could affect everyone with a state driver's license. If you are one of the six million+ individuals with a Louisiana driver's license, ID, or a car registration, your personal data was likely exposed during this attack. Although at the time of publishing this post there are currently no signs that the attackers have sold, used, or released personal information - it's a good idea to prioritize a few easy steps to keep your information safe.
Change Your Passwords
Now is a great time to consider changing your password information for all online accounts, from your social media to banking.
Prevent Unauthorized New Account Activity on Your Credit
You can freeze and later unfreeze your credit for free to stop others from opening new accounts and borrowing money in your name. This can be done online or by contacting the three major credit bureaus by phone.
Experian, 888-397-3742, www.experian.com/freeze
Equifax, 800-685-1111, www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-freeze/
TransUnion, 888-909-8872, www.transunion.com/credit-freeze
Protect Your Tax Information
IRS has provided a way for us to protect ourselves from others filing returns or receiving our federal tax refunds fraudulently. You can request an 'Identity Protection Pin' by signing up at https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams/get-an-identity-protection-pin. You can also call the IRS at 800-829-1040.
Check On Your Social Security Benefits
All individuals who are/will be eligible for, have applied for, or are receiving social security benefits (including disability) should consider registering for a ssa.gov account at https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/. Even if you don't plan to collect Social Security in the near future, it is in your best interest to create a username sooner rather than later. Should a fraudulent account be created, it is much more difficult to retrieve ownership.
Should you suspect Social Security fraud, call the Office of Inspector General hotline at 800-269-0271 or the Social Security Administration at 800-722-1213. You can also file a complaint online at oig.ssa.gov.