The credit rating service Equifax announced on Sept. 7, 2017 a massive data breach that compromised the private financial information of more than 140 million consumers. The compromised data includes Social Security numbers, birth dates, home addresses, and (in some cases) driver’s license numbers. It’s one-stop shopping for criminals wanting to commit identity fraud — that is, to open credit card or loan accounts in a victim’s name, take the money, and run.

What can a regular person do to protect themselves? This article from IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) has good advice. According to the article, credit monitoring services don’t do a lot for you and it’s not clear they are worth the money, but there are a few simple steps you can take that will help. I’m going to try them out over the next few days and will report on how it goes.