Equifax profits by selling your personal data to marketers

Ask lots of questions to prevent surprise medical bills

Ask lots of questions to prevent surprise medical bills

The credit-reporting company disclosed last week that "criminals exploited a US website application vulnerability" to gain access to the personal details of 143 million Americans. Most have come up with new layers of security, for example, you can get an alert when a check over a thousand dollars cashes. Reports that data obtained by hackers may be used to impact voting systems further underscores the need for tighter regulation and better security across the board.

Their proposed remedy - an offer of a year's free credit monitoring to any adult in the U.S. - seems woefully inadequate in light of the fact that the apparently stolen information does not expire after one year. "And because each credit inquiry caused by a creditor has the potential to lower your credit score, the freeze also helps protect your score, which is what most lenders use to decide whether to grant you credit when you truly do want it and apply for it". On the next screen select that you want your credit report frozen.

" Closely monitor your credit report for suspicious activity".

"A credit freeze is only effective if applied to all three credit bureaus".

Indeed, in that worst case scenario, we may be forced as a society to rethink how we confirm identity and track credit ratings, which would be a major disruption for the financial services industry. "They'll work with all three credit bureaus and freeze your credit".

Using the "freeze" option does not protect your personal information but will protect your credit if someone tries to access it. Melancon says keep an eye on your statements, too.

Additionally, credit card numbers for about 209,000 people were exposed, as was "personal identifying information" on roughly 182,000 customers involved in credit report disputes. Hackers or their customers could potentially open credit cards or other forms of credit in someone else's name but change the home addresses on the accounts so that it's hard for us to detect.

Identity thieves like to test your card with small purchases to see if the fraudulent transaction goes through. These companies play a huge role in our lives, but they simply aren't accountable, and are often unavailable, to consumers at all.

"It's a pretty extreme measure, but when 143 million people have been exposed like this, I think you have to take it", Ulzheimer said. As early as possible. Kilmartin also said his office is working in partnership with other attorneys general and federal agencies to share information on how consumers in different states are being affected in an effort to share that information with Rhode Island consumers. By the time you file your legitimate return, the IRS will inform you that someone else has already filed a tax return in your name.

Cocanower says we all know about putting malware software on our computers, but we don't think about it for our phones. Did we miss anything in our reporting? This information is exactly the information that we rely on to verify someone's identity.

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