By now you’ve heard about the Equifax breach. Something you may want to do by November 21 is put a security freeze on your account. Until then, they are waiving fees to do this.
A security freeze is supposed to block outsiders from opening an account in your name. This is different from a fraud alert which will only notify you if someone opens an account in your name (even you).
A security freeze has you adding a PIN in order to make any changes. The three major credit monitors are TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.
Right now you can only put the freeze on Equifax for free. TransUnion and Experian will charge $10 for each. Currently there is legislation pending on making this free. If you are planning to buy a car or house you don’t want to freeze your credit just yet.
Equifax will not be calling you so if you get a call saying it is from them, it is most likely a scam.
If you enroll in their monitoring program, you would waive rights to sue if you are impacted by the breach.
Here are some links:
Equifax blog with explanation of the problem
How to put on and remove a freeze from your account
Form to fill out to get a PIN to freeze account
If you are looking for a password, you can check to see if the password you want to use has ever been used. Just go to the Have I Been Pwned website and look at the Passwords link. They now have a list of the passwords that have been breached. You can test your password against it and it will tell you if it’s been breached but it will also tell you it may not be a good password even if it’s not been breached.
Here is what you get if your password has been used before and found on a breach list:
Here is what it looks like if it hasn’t:
Yes, another article about passwords. There seems to be new breaches every week of major sites where passwords are compromised. The Victor crew wants to bring home some information about this.
Only 29 percent of consumers change their password for security. The reason most people change their password is because they forgot it. In an interesting study, Type A and Type B personalities offer different insights.
Bad password behavior stems from their needing to be in control. They believe they are organized but this puts them at risk. 35% of them reuse passwords because they want to remember them all. Detail oriented people have a system to remember passwords (maybe not such a bad thing).
Their bad password behavior comes from convincing themselves that their accounts matter little to hackers. They prefer a password easy to remember.
Many people know their password is bad yet they use it anyway. Many were found to include initials, names, pet’s names, important dates, and other information readily available on social media sites.
The longer and more complex the password, the harder it is to crack.
The Victor crew