Call For Action Alert: Protecting Your Online Information

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Beware. Authorities say you could be among some 1 billion new identity theft victims and not even know it.

A handful of Russian hackers--it's believed to be fewer than a dozen--recently stole the largest known collection of username and password combinations ever. It's an increasingly common crime.

Experts say go online to your most important accounts like your credit cards, bank, and email, and change the passwords.

Your new passwords should have lower and uppercase letters and well as several numbers.

They also recommend using different passwords, not the same one for all your accounts.

Then keep an eye on your debit and credit card charges. Make sure you made all those purchases and if you see anything suspicious, investigate.

If your identity has been stolen, go to the Federal Trade Commission website and create what's called an Identity Theft Affidavit. Use that affidavit to file a police report.

The next step is calling the three credit reporting agencies and telling them to put a freeze on your credit report. That will block anyone, including you from trying to open up more credit in your name.

Also, ask Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union for a copy of your credit report.

Once you zero in on suspicious charges, contact the fraud departments for those businesses.

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