What to do when you are victim of identity theft.

With the latest external cyber attack on Anthem health insurance, where the hackers gained access to the customer’s name, Social Security number, addresses, income and birthdates, it affected as many as 80 million current and former customers of the world’s second-largest health insurance company. In the past, month’s data breach has hegemonized the market with companies like, from Anthem to JP Morgan, Sony Pictures, Target and Home Depot.

What to do when you are victim of identity theft.

Such data breach on renowned companies have proves that we are living on the mercy of companies to keep our information safe with them. So if you ever feel that your data is stolen or your data is being hacked, here’s what you can do to safeguard yourself.

  1. Call for Initial Fraud alert: First things after discovering that your information is breached, place an initial fraud alert by calling the credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). You have to provide your proof of identity. The initial fraud alert makes it difficult for hacker to open more accounts on your name. Before issuing any credit on your name, they will try to contact you, so always provide your latest details to credit reporting companies.
  2. Requesting for Credit Freeze:  A credit freeze makes it harder for hackers to open new accounts on your name, as in credit freeze the budding creditors cannot receive the credit details/ report. The data is locked at the consumer agency until you give permission for the release of data.
  3. Order Credit Reports: Asking for credit reports, get your free credit report once a year from one of the major reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Always look for small charges as hackers first go for small charges to understand if you check. If you missed, they may charge huge amount later.
  4. Report Identity Theft: Reporting identity theft helps you to remove fraudulent information removed from your credit report. You can gain access from companies to check how many accounts have been misused and opened by the identity thief.

Nothing is hack-proof, but there is nothing bad in taking precautionary measures.

  • Never click on links from email, and be advised that bad software can also steal your data.

  • Always use certified email to get delivery reports and information.

  • Never go for promotional mails saying you have win tablet, phones etc. Be safe and try to be extra cautious when using systems.