Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Information

Monitor Your Accounts

Identity theft reporting information and resources can be found at  We strongly recommend that all individuals take the following steps to help protect against data and identity theft:

  • Be aware of phishing and spam.
  • Do not give out personal information, including responding to unknown emails, voice calls, and text messages.
  • Update passwords and do not reuse passwords across accounts.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) on all accounts, where possible.
  • Regularly check bank and credit card activity.
  • If you notice any suspicious activity, notify your providers immediately.
  • Consider contacting the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to block electronic access to your information. 

We encourage you to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud by reviewing your credit reports/account statements for suspicious activity and to detect errors. Under U.S. law, you are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. To order your free credit report, visit or call 1-877-322-8228. Once you receive your credit report, review it for discrepancies and identify any accounts you did not open or inquiries from creditors that you did not authorize. If you have questions or notice incorrect information, contact the credit reporting bureau. 

Additional steps you can take:

Enable Fraud Alerts.  You have the right to place an initial or extended fraud alert on a credit file at no cost. An initial fraud alert is a one-year alert that is placed on a consumer's credit file. Upon seeing a fraud alert, a business is required to take steps to verify the consumer's identity before extending new credit. If you are a victim of identity theft, you are entitled to an extended fraud alert lasting seven years. Should you wish to place a fraud alert, please contact any of the three credit reporting bureaus listed below.

Place a Credit Freeze.  You also have the right to place a credit freeze on a credit report, which will prohibit a credit bureau from releasing information in the credit report without your express authorization. The credit freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. However, you should be aware that using a credit freeze may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of credit. Pursuant to federal law, you cannot be charged to place or lift a credit freeze on your credit report. 

Credit Monitoring.  You may obtain credit monitoring from Experian at no cost to you.  A description of such credit monitoring services is available on the Experian website identified below.  You can also choose other credit monitoring or identity protection services at your cost. 

Should you wish to place a fraud alert or credit freeze, or take advantage of no-cost credit monitoring, please contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below:




TransUnion Fraud Alert

P.O. Box 2000

Chester, PA 19016-2000


TransUnion Credit Freeze

P.O. Box 160

Woodlyn, PA 19094


Fraud Alert:


Credit Freeze:






Experian Fraud Alert

P.O. Box 9554 

Allen, TX 75013


Experian Credit Freeze

P.O. Box 9554

Allen, TX 75013


Credit Monitoring:


Fraud Alert: 


Credit Freeze:            





Equifax Fraud Alert

P.O. Box 105069

Atlanta, GA 30348-5069


Equifax Credit Freeze

P.O. Box 105788

Atlanta, GA 30348-5788


Fraud Alert and Credit Freeze: services/

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute may be contacted at 110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180  Attn:  DotCIO, Troy Bldg. 4th Fl.

Back to top