Worried About Big Credit Breaches? Make Sure Your Identity Stays Yours

Posted On: September 15, 2017

Thanks to a recent data breach of a major credit bureau, over 143 million Americans may potentially have their identities in the hands of some shady characters; that’s over a 50% chance that your identity is very steal-able, and your credit soon-to-be ravaged. Stressing about what happened, what you need to know, and what to do? Proactivity soothes a stressful mind; so let’s get to work.

The “What You Need to Know”

Think you’re okay because you don’t recall having supplied information directly to a credit bureau? That’s hopeful, but not helpful or correct. Credit bureaus collect personal information from all entities of credit for the sake of deeming what your credit is. If you have a credit report, they have all the personal info that makes up your identity.

The “What to Do”

There’s a great many things you can do to be proactive about the potential problem, rather than reactive. You can:

  • Go Straight to the Source: If you’re concerned that your data may have been compromised, reach out and contact credit bureaus to see if your data is leaked.
  • Protect Yourself: You’d be wise to safeguard yourself from here on out. Stream offers both Identity Protection and Credit Monitoring, tools critical for combating the damage that could be done. You can stay on top of potential credit fraud with our 24/7 Credit Monitoring, and also be alerted immediately if your identity is used for any suspicious activity. In the unfortunate case that this ensues, you’re insured for up to $1 million. 
    Pro Tip: Are you a Stream Energy customer? Check out our “Protect & Save Energy Plan,” which provides free Identity Protection!
  • Freeze Your Credit: This one is something of a nuclear option, but incredibly effective: for a nominal fee with any of the major credit bureaus, you can freeze anyone and everyone from accessing your credit reports without your permission. All lenders will have to contact you to verify your identity before they issue credit in your name, and you’ll receive a generated PIN for unlocking the credit freeze. A forewarning: a credit freeze can be a nuisance to you potentially. It may take time to unfreeze your credit later on.

While the idea of identity theft is pretty upsetting, you can rest easy with the assurance that you don’t have to deal with it alone: Stream Protective Services has got your back.