Armstrong said he already had LifeLock” which sets up fraud alerts. He suggests this type service. Without this type of service, he said the damage may have been more significant. With the alert, he was able to act fast, he said.
Armstrong said to consider a credit freeze, which he did, and have a financial-only email address, which he now has.
Other suggestions he made for basic ID theft protection were to use complex passwords/password manager and to set up verbal passwords. Armstrong said to monitor credit cards through alerts and use two-factor authentication.
He said to make your home router high security, beware of ATM skimmers, don’t click on strange emails, never give out personal information, shred all personal information, don’t use free public WiFi without VPN, and set devices to auto install security updates.
Some of the immediate actions a person can take once alerted that their identification has been compromised, Armstrong said, are to contact the company and stop the action, close accounts as necessary, contact credit bureaus and freeze credit/place fraud alerts, notify financial companies you do business with of your situation, file a local police/sheriff’s office report, file an ID theft report with the FTC at identitytheft.gov, file Form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit with the IRS and file Form 1350 with SC DOR (or your state’s version).