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Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

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Protect Yourself

This fall, Cornell is experiencing a significant increase in reports of students, faculty and staff being victimized by identity theft. This is a national problem, most likely linked to massive data breaches at major corporations in recent months, including the September 2017 alert from the credit reporting agency Equifax.

Your best defense? Protect your personal identity and financial information by taking these steps:

  1. Create your online Social Security account -- regardless of your age or retirement eligibility -- to prevent attackers from doing so.
    If you already have an account, regularly review your statements and be alert for benefits activity you didn't initiate.
  2. Freeze your credit report to prevent attackers from obtaining credit histories and opening new lines of credit.
    Note: If you know you'll need to apply for a loan or credit card in the near future, a 90-day fraud alert could be a simpler choice. Learn about the differences between a fraud alert and a credit freeze.
  3. If you aren't already using Cornell’s Two-Step Login service, sign up and then choose the option to expand where you use it.
  4. Be suspicious of ALL phone calls and emails that request personal information or threaten that you'll lose access to something if you don't log in or respond. If you think it might be real, look up the company's contact information and ask. More tips on spotting fraudulent emails

More about the Equifax breach

More about identity theft

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