The following information was provided to me in an email alert from TransUnion.
Staying informed is very important when it comes to preventing further damage to your credit. Sometimes the company, such as AT&T, will take additional steps to solved the security breach, while other times by the time you are informed, it is too late and you must take steps on your own to protect yourself.
Whether or not you've been affected by this incident, you could be next – play it safe & protect yourself now with TransUnion.
AT&T Mobility has recently confirmed that it has suffered a data breach. The personal information (Social Security numbers and call records) of an undisclosed number of AT&T Mobility customers was stolen. The breach was alleged to have occurred earlier this year, April 9 through 21. The criminals appear to have been interested in information they could use to unlock phones they had already stolen. Since Social Security numbers were also involved, users are strongly encouraged to take steps to protect their identity.
TransUnion recommends taking the following precautions immediately, for protection & peace of mind:
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It is important to only carry the credit cards and forms of identification you need in your wallet or purse. If you make a habit of carrying around credit cards that you don't use, not only is your wallet super heavy, but there is a huge potential of loss of financial information. If you wallet get stolen or lost, you could have a lot of phone calls to make to try to minimize the potential damage to your credit and you bank account. Also, be sure that you know what credit cards and forms of identification you are carrying along with the associated customer service numbers to call. It is important to keep this information at home in a safe place. This way you can call the appropriate companies to notify them of the compromised accounts very quickly.
How many of you like to pay bills? Anyone, Anyone? I know paying bills is not the most glamorous or fun thing to do, however it must be done. So, I have a way to streamline your bills so it easier to pay your reoccurring bills. However, before I tell you this, you must remember that you must be responsible about this. Just because you change how you pay your bills, doesn't mean you should not pay the bill. Credit cards can be useful tool, however managing your debt is very important. You will understand more in a minute.
Most of us have reoccurring monthly bills, like electrical, gas, cable and/or cell phone. Most of the companies that offer these services allow for payment with a credit card at a predetermined time. You can set up payments for all of these bills on one credit card to be paid on the due date. This way your bills will be paid on time and at the end of the month you only have to pay one bill, the credit card bill. The company receives your payment on time - they are happy. You spent less time paying the bill - you are happy.
Many credit cards offer rewards for every dollar spent. You may be able to pay these reoccurring bills and be saving points up to turn into cash back or airline tickets or whatever the case may be. That is quite a nifty benefit to simply paying your bills.
Also consider only using this one credit card for these reoccurring monthly bills. Be sure to keep this credit card at home in a safe place. The reason for this is to prevent the credit card information for being stolen or comprised. It is unlikely the companies you are paying will allow you credit card information to be compromised. On the flip side, if you are using the same credit card for your daily purchases, here, there and everywhere, there is a good chance it will be compromised. Then you will have the pleasure of calling all the companies to give them the new credit card number. That does not sound like a time saver to me.
If you are able to set routine up of paying your bills with one credit card and you are responsibly pay your credit card bill completely every month not only will you have paid your bills in less time, but you may also see positive effects on your credit score and report. As we all know, paying your bills consistently in full and on time is important to creating a good credit history which translates to good credit score and related interest rates on future purchases. Good stuff.
So let's review: By setting up your reoccurring bills on a designated credit card you will consistently pay you bills on time, you will spend less time paying the bills, you may be able to reap rewards you didn't even know about and your credit history of paying bills on time will be easier to maintain and it may improve your credit score. Wow!
Page Maintained by: Jennifer Shulman
Jennifer is committed to helping her clients as well as other folks improve their daily financial circumstances by providing simple financial solutions.