After a large company that has your data gets breached, the standard next step is to give you credit monitoring.
It’s not enough to protect yourself, but you can make it enough.
I can tell you from my own experience that when you sign up for credit monitoring, you’ll know if someone tries to open up new credit in your name. It might take hours or it might take a couple of days, but your phone will start ringing and you’ll get e-mail alerts.
In my case, it’s always been legitimate. If it’s not legitimate, though, the credit monitoring is only the beginning. The company offering credit monitoring may or may not be able to help you, but you’re going to have some work to do.
Immediately after getting credit monitoring, you need to call your insurance agent. If you own a home, you have homeowner’s insurance, and if you have a homeowner’s policy, you can get what’s called an umbrella policy. The umbrella policy covers all sorts of goofy stuff, but identity theft is one of them.
An umbrella policy isn’t terribly expensive, and since it covers so many things, I really think everyone should have one. In this, the Breached Age, that’s even more true.
I don’t think there’s much point in renewing your credit monitoring when it expires, since by the time your free credit monitoring expires you’ll most likely be eligible for another year or two from another breach at another company. Keep your umbrella policy though.