Freezing your credit may be the best way protect you from the Equifax hack

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS, MO — The Equifax breach that may affect you more than you realize. The information that has been out there is life changing. Small businesses and children are all possible targets. This breach could be felt all the way until next tax season.

Vinny Troia is the CEO of Night Lion Security. He is a professional 'ethical' hacker. His company is hired by organizations to hack their businesses and show them how to be safe.

"It is something all companies should be doing. Many have legal requirements to have outside hackers come in and test their system for that reason," said Vinny Troia.

Troia says Equifax was breached due to un-patched software that had been sitting out there for a year. The software had not been upgraded. Now it has caused a major identity fraud concern.

"We now have hundreds of millions of personal information sitting there and that people are actively selling on the on the dark-net. So, anybody can go online and buy bulks of information and use this to commit identity fraud," said Vinny Troia.

People will not only sell your information, they will get access to your kid's information and use it to open lines of credit, among other things.

"Nobody is checking to make sure their kid's haven't filed a tax return. That is one of the biggest things now" said Vinny Troia.

As tax season approaches, Troia is predicting an uptick in fraudulent tax returns because so much information is out there now.

"From a user's perspective, the best thing you can do is file your return as soon as possible. Make sure you're the first person to file them," said Vinny Troia.

Troia says a credit monitoring system can help to make sure nothing is happening to your credit. Also, use different passwords for every website you use.

"From a financial perspective, really the only thing you can do is freeze your credit. Not great, but if you have no plans on buying a house or car, get it frozen and nothing can touch it" said Vinny Troia.

With just a few bits of information Troia pulled up a lot of my personal information on the darknet. For those who don't know, the darknet is a network not indexed by search engines.  It is accessed through specific software.