Cyber Threat Protection

Our colleges continue to take various measures to keep our records safe. The information shared below regarding heightened protections can apply to both your campus environment as well as your personal accounts should you choose to use them for your own protection. These measures include placing a fraud alert and/or security freeze on your credit files, and/or obtaining a free credit report.  

A fraud alert and security freeze, in particular, is intended to prevent someone from extending credit in your name. Additionally, you should always remain vigilant in reviewing your account statements for fraudulent or irregular activity on a regular basis.  Furthermore, if you do see a fraudulent charge on your payment card(s), you should immediately contact your bank, credit union or other financial institution that issued your card. The phone number to call can be found on the back of the card. If reported promptly, major credit card companies typically guarantee cardholders will not be responsible for fraudulent charges. We also caution against you providing any information to any entity or person contacting you directly asking for your personal information. Otherwise, you can take steps to protect your information online by always using strong passwords, utilizing multi-factor authentication where available, and updating your software regularly. These are good practices in both your professional, academic, and personal environments.

Placing a Fraud Alert on Your Credit File

We recommend that you place an initial 1-year “fraud alert” on your credit files, at no charge.  A fraud alert tells creditors to contact you personally before they open any new accounts.  To place a fraud alert, call any one of the three major credit bureaus at the numbers listed below.  As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, they will notify the others.  

Equifax

P.O. Box 105069

Atlanta, GA 30348

www.equifax.com

1-800-525-6285

Experian 

P.O. Box 2002

Allen, TX 75013

www.experian.com

1-888-397-3742

TransUnion LLC

P.O. Box 2000

Chester, PA 19016

www.transunion.com

1-800-680-7289


Placing a Security Freeze on Your Credit File

If you are personally concerned about becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft, you may request a “security freeze” be placed on your credit file, at no charge. A security freeze prohibits, with certain specific exceptions, the consumer reporting agencies from releasing your credit report or any information from it without your express authorization. You may place a security freeze on your credit report by sending a request in writing or by mail, to all three nationwide credit reporting companies. To find out more about how to place a security freeze, you can use the following contact information:

Equifax
Security Freeze

P.O. Box 105788

Atlanta, GA 30348

www.freeze.equifax.com

1-800-685-1111 

Experian
Security Freeze

P.O. Box 9554

Allen, TX 75013

experian.com/freeze

1-888-397-3742

TransUnion
Security Freeze

P.O. Box 2000

Chester, PA 19016

www.transunion.com/securityfreeze

1-888-909-8872

In order to place the security freeze, you’ll need to supply your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information.  After receiving your freeze request, each credit monitoring company will send you a confirmation letter containing a unique PIN (personal identification number) or password.  Keep the PIN or password in a safe place.  You will need it if you choose to lift the freeze.

Obtaining a Free Credit Report

 

Under federal law, you are entitled to one free credit report every 12 months from each of the above three major nationwide credit reporting companies. Call 1-877-322-8228 or request your free credit reports online at www.annualcreditreport.com.  Once you receive your credit reports, review them for discrepancies. Identify any accounts you did not open or inquiries from creditors that you did not authorize.  Verify all information is correct.  If you have questions or notice incorrect information, contact the credit reporting company.

Additional Helpful Resources

Even if you do not find any suspicious activity on your initial credit reports, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends that you check your credit reports periodically.  Checking your credit report periodically can help you spot problems and address them quickly.

If you find suspicious activity on your credit reports or have reason to believe your information is being misused, call your local law enforcement agency and file a police report.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the police report, as many creditors will want the information it contains to absolve you of the fraudulent debts.  You may also file a complaint with the FTC by contacting them on the web at www.ftc.gov/idtheft, by phone at 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338), or by mail at Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580.  Your complaint will be added to the FTC’s Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse, where it will be accessible to law enforcement for their investigations.  In addition, you may obtain information from the FTC about fraud alerts and security freezes.