Equifax Hackers are indicted – Weekly Security Update 02/15/2020 Show Notes

Welcome back to the Simple Cyber Defense Podcast. Today is February 15th, 2020.
This week we will be discussing the Equifax Data breach. No there was
not a new breach but rather there is some new news on the topic. So lets
begin.

Four members of the Chinese military have been indicted over the huge
hack of credit agency Equifax, which led to the personal data of nearly
150 million Americans’ information being stolen in 2017. Even though
the hackers have been indicted the bad new is that they probably will
never be arrested and never face any jail time. So what does that mean?
It means that your data is still out there and can be used by anyone. So
what can you do? There are a few things to do to prevent becoming a
victim of identity theft.

First keep an eye one your credit. You are entitled to a free credit
report from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax,
Experian, and TransUnion) once every 12 months. You can request all
three reports at once, or space them out throughout the year. Credit
reports list your bill payment history, loans, current debt, and other
financial information. They show where you work and live and whether
you’ve been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy. It’s important to
check your credit reports regularly to make sure that your personal and
financial information is accurate. It also helps to make sure nobody’s
opened fraudulent accounts in your name.

The next thing to do is to freeze your credit. Placing a credit
freeze allows you to restrict access to your credit report. This is
important after a data breach or identity theft when someone could use
your personal information to apply for new credit accounts. Most
creditors look at your credit report before opening a new account. But
if you’ve frozen your credit report, creditors can’t access it, and
probably won’t approve fraudulent applications. You have the right to
place or lift a credit freeze for free. You can place a freeze on your
own credit files and on those of your children age 16 or younger.

The last thing you can do is use services like Credit Sesame and
Credit Karma to setup alerts when there is important changes to your
credit report. This will inform you when new accounts were opened or
when your credit was used. This is useful because these alerts will
inform you about fraud before it becomes a major issue and you can
report it right away.

If all of this seems to much for you, you can always pay for credit
monitoring services like LIFELOCK, IDENTITYFORCE, or ID WATCHDOG.

No matter what you decide to do just remember that Identity thief is a
big problem that just becomes easier to do after every data breach.
However, if you stay on top of credit monitoring, you do not have to
become a victim.

This concludes the security update. Links to everything are in the show notes.

This week we talk about the Equifax Hackers. Four members of the
Chinese military have been indicted over the huge hack of credit agency
Equifax, which led to the personal data of nearly 150 million Americans’
information being stolen in 2017. We also talk about what this means
and what you should do.


Links:
Find out how to get your credit report, make corrections, and more:
https://www.usa.gov/credit-reports

Do You Need Identity Theft Protection Services?
https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/comparing-identity-theft-protec…

Personal Credit Alerts:
Credit Sesame https://www.creditsesame.com

Credit Karma https://www.creditkarma.com