CLEVELAND - "Equifax won't be defined by the incident but how we respond."
That was what Equifax CEO Richard Smith said in a videotaped statement posted on YouTube, following the company’s massive data breach last week.
And how they've responded, has been nothing short of disastrous based on some of the online complaints.
Forget the fact the company is the keeper of the country's credit information, and should be nearly impossible to hack, let's start with their new information site www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.
It's not part of their corporate site, but to see if you're affected you're supposed to trust it with the info they've already compromised.
Compare it to a fake website www.securityequifax2017.com which looks exactly the same. Fortunately it was created by "honest" hackers to show Equifax the mistake they made.
But wait, there's more. Some say the real site doesn’t even work, with users getting wrong information. Check out what happened when we typed in our last name as “test”, with the last four digits of our social security number as 1,2,3,4,5,6…a trick we saw on www.zdnet.com.
Apparently "test's" information may have been impacted, along with the rest of the 143 million consumers.
"We could be impacted for many years on this because that data is now outside secure bounds, said Mark Testoni, of SAP National Security Services, which provides support for the U.S. National Security and critical infrastructure sectors. https://www.sapns2.com/
In plain speak, your identity could float around on the dark web forever.
So here are the three things to do right now:
-Sign up for credit monitoring
-Never respond to unsolicited requests for personal information
-Check your credit score… and keep checking
"We've had our ID stolen two years in a row and we have six different companies protecting us,” said a couple who asked us to hide their identity.
They warn, you need to be vigilant on your own. Monitoring companies can only alert you after your information has been compromised...hopefully in a timely manner.
Now to those three Equifax executives who reportedly sold two million in company stock prior to announcing the breach to the public. Is that insider trading? The Securities and Exchange commission won't say if it's investigating and the company didn't return my call for comment.
Dealing with the Equifax Data Breach
1. Sign up for Credit Monitoring
2. Order your credit report
You are entitled to one free report from each of the three reporting agencies every year. www.annualcreditreport.com or 877-322-8228
3. Put an alert or freeze on your account with each of the three credit bureaus
If you believe your identity has been stolen, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will provide you with a complete checklist of the steps to take.
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