The Equifax Security Breach Could Potentially Affect All Of Us.

This has nothing to do with being atheist, but important information for everyone.

This week there were news reports of security breach at Equifax.  I forget the number of people who may be affected, but it was something like 145 million people.

Equifax has your social security number, employers, credit cards, and addresses.  It is a clearing house for personal information, used for a variety of purposes, including getting credit and loans.  Therefore, someone with that information - the hackers, which are not identified but could turn out to be Russian (the massive Yahoo hack) or other sources, and can potentially be a form of financial terrorism  - can access your savings, credit accounts, and open new accounts, posing as you.  This data breach happened earlier this summer, and apparently Equifax held off notification for some stock market damage control, before going public.

The other corporations that collect this information, are Experian and TransUnion

If you are not opening new account now, you should freeze your credit.  You can unfreeze it later if neede to get a loan, mortgage, or new account.  You can do that - freeze or unfreeze -  by contacting each of the companies.  Read down in the attached Washington Post link here.   Other news sites, such as NY Times,  also have that information.  Each of these credit bureaus charges to freeze accounts, but it is not a lot.  I think this is a little extortion, like "give us $10 or the information that we collect might be used to destroy you" but it is what it is.  I was able to use the Experian account easily.  The TransUnion account needed information that was too old for me to remember, but their phone number worked.  The Equifax internet number came back with a 500 Error (remember those on Nexus?) and the phone number states unable to process, try again later.  Which I will.

The Washington post info in the link above is for contacting those credit bureaus, to place a credit freeze.

The websites are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

The phone numbers given, are

Equifax (1-800-349-9960)

Experian (1‑888‑397‑3742)

TransUnion (1-888-909-8872)

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I've never heard of any of these.

You bring up a good point. I dont know if these corporations are transnational.

It was on our news, but as I've never heard of them, I don't know who it affects.

Here's another Canadian news article.  They do state that most Canadians have never heard of the company.  Neither have most USA people, I think.  Scary that these monster corporations have their tentacles deep into our intimate personal lives, and we don't know they exist.

Like the Washington Post article and NY Times articles for USA'ans, the Times Colonist article states "How to find out if you have been hacked —Check your credit report annually for free through Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Keep a close eye on your credit card statements."

It's eerie.  On the webpages, I had to confirm my identity by identifying from their lists, employers from 35 years ago, and a street name that I lived on 25 years ago, and credit limits and how much my mortgage was 17 years ago.

Oh good grief!

Thanks Daniel.  I've now put a credit freeze on Experian and TransUnion (online).  When I tried on Equifax, I got a 500 error.  Maybe they're overwhelmed with requests.  I'll try again online.  If it doesn't work, I'll try calling them.  The freeze costs $6 in Idaho.

I've now put a "security freeze" on Equifax.  I couldn't find "credit freeze" on that site, but they sound like the same thing.  Does any one know for sure?  Equifax did not charge me anything for it, and required much less information than the other two.

After reading quite a bit on Equifax, Wikipedia, and other places, I'm now quite certain that a security freeze is the same as a credit freeze.  Wikipedia says "credit freeze, also known as a credit report freeze, a credit report lock down, a credit lock down, a credit lock or a security freeze...."

I have now put a credit freeze on Innovis.  It was easy and there was no charge.  This is the 4th most used credit place.  Verizon uses it along with the main three.

This guy says data collection companies don't give a harry rats patootie about your security.  The only way to get some is harass the government until they act.   https://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram/archives/2017/0915.html#1

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