Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Equifax's chief information officer and chief security officer have retired, "effective immediately," after the data breach announced earlier this month. More than 143 million US consumers may be affected by the breach. While class action lawsuits arise in different states, here are three things you can do immediately to protect yourself:

1. Credit Freeze on Your Accounts - Contact each of the 3 major credit reporting companies Transunion, Equifax, and Experian and ask each to freeze your credit profile. This will provide you with a PIN that gives you more security and prevents new credit accounts to be opened in your name.

2. Sign Up for Equifax's One Free Year of Credit Monitoring - You will not forfeit your opportunity to sue Equifax if you sign up for the 1-year credit monitoring so take advantage of the offer. Visit to learn if you were affected and to register for the credit monitoring service now.

3. Review Your Credit Report and Start Disputing - Examine your report and get rid of any extra addresses, misspellings of your name, and anything else that is incorrect on your report. Use this time, not only to identify new accounts on your credit report but review old accounts that should no longer be reporting to on your report.

While the data breaches are common, it's important to know how to protect your self financially. What are your biggest concerns with the data breach? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @KnowMoneyInc