Equifax Loses Data on 143 Million customers, unlikely to offer help to victims

Equifax (photo by Mike Stewart/AP c/o <a href=http://nymag.com/selectall/2017/09/equifax-hack-143-million-us-customers-credit-data-leaked.html>Nymag.com</a>)
Equifax (photo by Mike Stewart/AP c/o Nymag.com)

Oh look! Yet another data breach. This time affecting Credit Reporting Company Equifax; one of the three businesses most directly responsible for ID theft woes. Most companies don't offer any information or help to get your credit reports frozen (the only actual solution for ID theft) and I don't expect Equifax to be any different.

Equifax has a sorted past with multiple class action lawsuits and various other kinds of misconduct that had to be addressed by the Federal Trade Commission. Chances are they'll use this opportunity to offer free credit monitoring to appear to help while really just trying to avoid lawsuits and I guarantee, they won't talk about credit-freezes at all. Don't let them snow you and freeze your credit reports now!

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WellPoint Data Breach Due to Carelessness

Surprise, surprise. A company has giant data breach due to negligent security, but not to worry! They'll protect you by offering you credit monitoring for one year free!

It would be nice if people could spot this B.S. easily by now, but I'm guessing there are a lot that won't so let me spell it out. Credit monitoring is a waste of your time and is likely only offered to make it seem like they're doing something for you when they probably don't. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the credit monitoring companies have a "data breach plan" where companies can get a bulk discount by offering monitoring to all their victims.

It's a classic win-win-lose. The breach company wins PR points, the monitoring companies continue to make money for not providing any real service, and we all lose.

If you're worried about id theft, just freeze your credit reports!

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UK Loses Data on Over Half its Entire Population

They had it, they shouldn’t have, now they lost it. Same story all over.

The funniest part of this is that they’re trying to convince their public that it’s a good idea to have a national ID card containing even more data and that they’ll be responsible with that data.

Said someone from an anti-ID card group:

“It’s inevitably good news for our campaign because it proves to people that this government, and indeed any government, cannot be trusted with this amount of information. For 25 million people this is a catastrophe but it is just a small herald of the national ID scheme which would mean a potential catastrophe for 60 million of us.”

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Insult to Injury: Countrywide Data Breach Affects Millions

It isn't bad enough that Countrywide was engaging in questionable loan practices , but now they've lost the data on millions of customers as well.

And, as usual, the completely worthless response:

The company nevertheless promised to provide two years of free credit monitoring to affected individuals through the ConsumerInfo.com division of the Experian credit bureau.

*Sigh*

If you've been affected, now would be a good time to get a Credit Freeze

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Best Western Loses Full Details of All Customers From 2008 in Data Breach

Details of how to access the information – which included home addresses, place of employment and credit card details – were sold through an underground network operated by the Russian mafia.

And, again, if these companies would stop holding our credit card numbers far past the date that we used them, we wouldn’t be having this problem. I hope Best Western gets slapped with a big lawsuit for this. Maybe then these companies will learn.

Update

Best Western is contradicting the story saying that it’s exaggerated. More importantly this:

Most importantly, whereas the reporter asserted the recent compromise of data for past guests from as far back as 2007, Best Western purges all online reservations promptly upon guest departure.

If this is true, then Best Western deserves praise for getting it right, not this bad publicity. I’ll wait to make my determination to see what happens next.

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Lending Tree Has Data Breach – Offers Poor Advice to Victims

Apparently a Lending Tree employee gave internal passwords to external lenders without permission. This resulted in people being offered loans by lenders who shouldn't have been able to see their data. While Lending Tree doesn't believe that this particular activity is likely to lead to ID theft, it is a problem nonetheless.

I wasn't going to cover this story because it's so typical of what's happening recently, but this stuck in my craw. In a letter shared with the Consumerist by a reader, Lending Tree is recommending that people get fraud alerts on their accounts as a precaution.

Fraud alerts are practically worthless! Don't even bother. Get a freeze and you'll actually be protected.

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TJX Settles with FTC Over Biggest Data Breach In History

TJX has settled under charges that they had insufficient computer security protecting their systems, but the only thing TJX must do under the settlement is upgrade their security. Woo.

And this:

“By now, the message should be clear: companies that collect sensitive consumer information have a responsibility to keep it secure,” said FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras. “Information security is a priority for the FTC, as it should be for every business in America.”

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Data Breaches More Common Than You Think

There have been almost 40 data breaches in Maryland since January which have been reported only due to a new breach notification law in Maryland.

I’m betting the story would be similar for other states if they had similar laws.

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Government Laptop Stolen: National Institute of Health

Here we go again.

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Hannaford Supermarket Data Breach

Another breach. Who'd have guessed?

The company is aware of about 1,800 cases of fraud reported so far relating to the breach.

Surprising that they'd admit that. Now I'm just waiting for them to recommend credit freezes to all their customers.

Tags:
IDENTITY THEFT
How to Steal Identities - Why It's So Easy
Credit Freeze
Data Defense
Credit Monitoring
Id Theft Insurance
The Identity Theft Victim's Mini-Guide to Recovery
PRIVACY
The Geek Privacy Principle
Nothing to Hide
Data Abuse
RFID - Radio Frequency IDentification
Privacy Alias/Persona
Data Defense
INTERNET SAFETY
Online Addiction
The Consequences of Posting Online
Photo Safety
Tricks and Scams
Account Hijacking
Trusting Companies
PASSWORDS
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Password Tips and Tricks
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Kids and Computers
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Credit Monitoring

What is credit monitoring, why it doesn't live up to its promises, and what you can do instead.

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How to Stop Credit-Based ID Theft with a Credit Freeze

A credit freeze locks your credit report preventing any thieves from being able to open new accounts in your name. Your credit cards and current accounts work like they always have.

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