Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Equifax Hack

There’s much discovery still taking place regarding the Equifax hack.   The fact is this is huge.  Most hacks allow criminals to gather partial info on your personal identity, piecing together on the dark web.   Hacking Equifax however is a gold mine.  Your full legal identity details all packaged up nicely for fraudulent use.   Rightfully so you should be concerned. 

Most media outlets are covering this with various advice.  Generally I’ve heard good suggestions.   But be on guard.   Some sites like the credit bureau data breach site and TrustedID and others are including legal arbitration clause baring your ability to bring legal action.   If you have no plans to join the already active law suits, then those sites are helpful. 

What can you do?
The two biggest things you can do is monitor your credit report and make sure you delineate password use.  

Credit Report.
You can do personal credit check for free annually.  With 3 credit agencies, than means a free check every 4 months.  Look for ANYTHING that seems out of place or you don’t recognize.  Identity theft is a pain to say the least and a nightmare for most.  Over the coming months you can be sure personal identity will be sold on the dark web.  

This hack will have lasting risks for pretty much all of us.   Not to over hype this, but it would be better to assume your affected by the hack, and monitor your credit report. 

It’s not a bad idea to freeze your credit - I did.  You need to contact each credit bureau directly.    Also setup a fraud detection / alerting.   The Federal Trade Commission has details for both here:

In our CyberSecurity workshops we provide several real world steps you can take; more than I can practically provide here.  Mainly though, make sure you keep separate passwords for your corporate network, personal email, and financial institutions. 

Other Signs.
Monitor your bank and credit card accounts more closely   Watch for odd transactions.  Take notice of paper or electronic bills that suddenly stop.  Could have been redirected to an attacker.   Even medical records need a look for things that shouldn’t be there. 

Be careful what you click.  Treat every email like a visitor at your home at 2am.  Provide personal info at great care.   Do a double take look at everything above. 

Happy Clicking!

Nathan DeSutter
IT Consultant

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