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Credit Freeze- Equifax
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Contributors to this thread:
Beendare 29-Jan-18
BowSniper 29-Jan-18
HA/KS 29-Jan-18
NvaGvUp 29-Jan-18
elkmtngear 29-Jan-18
Pat Lefemine 30-Jan-18
Bowfreak 30-Jan-18
HA/KS 30-Jan-18
Bowbender 30-Jan-18
South Farm 30-Jan-18
Bob H in NH 30-Jan-18
Beendare 30-Jan-18
Woods Walker 30-Jan-18
NvaGvUp 30-Jan-18
Butternut40 30-Jan-18
Bowfreak 30-Jan-18
Butternut40 30-Jan-18
Pat Lefemine 30-Jan-18
Pig Doc 30-Jan-18
nowheels 30-Jan-18
Pat Lefemine 30-Jan-18
Beendare 30-Jan-18
Factory rat 30-Jan-18
NvaGvUp 30-Jan-18
HA/KS 30-Jan-18
kps@work 30-Jan-18
Pat Lefemine 30-Jan-18
NvaGvUp 30-Jan-18
Pig Doc 30-Jan-18
NvaGvUp 30-Jan-18
Pat Lefemine 30-Jan-18
7mm08 02-Feb-18
Bowfreak 02-Feb-18
NvaGvUp 02-Feb-18
HA/KS 03-Feb-18
From: Beendare
29-Jan-18
FYI, with all of the security breeches - inc at equifax credit bureau....its a good idea to freeze your credit.

its free until the end of the month- Wed. You go on their website- Equifax.com, check to see if you were exposed by your last name and last 6 of your social and it tells you if your personal info was hacked.

Doesn't matter if it was or wasn't, you can freeze it for free.

They give you a pin number to unfreeze...to do that go to www.freeze.equifax.com

My wife and I both were hacked....but haven't been impacted.

From: BowSniper
29-Jan-18
I worry that if I give my info to Equifax so that they can freeze my credit, that THEY get hacked and I am even worse off....

From: HA/KS
29-Jan-18
BowSniper, unfortunately, they already have it whether you want them to or not - unless you have no credit cards, debit cards, loans, bank accounts, stock holdings, etc.

From: NvaGvUp
29-Jan-18
I was back in DC in Sept. lobbying for wild sheep. At the bar one night prior to dinner, we'd invited a tech guru. This was right after the Equifax breech became known.

He and I got to chatting and he referred to them as 'Eqiuifuked,' then went on to explain why, if your data had been breached, you were basically screwed for life.

Fortunately, neither I nor my bride were compromised by their failure to secure their data!

From: elkmtngear
29-Jan-18
Thanks Bruce, looks like they missed my Wife and I.

Hopefully there will be no problems for you and your Wife.

From: Pat Lefemine
30-Jan-18
Take ownership of your SSN by freezing it with all 3 credit bureaus. Monitor your cards and financial accounts regularly, and enable 2-factor Authentication everywhere you have financial info including email.

These three steps will dramatically increase your resilience to becoming a victim of Identity theft a financial losses.

From: Bowfreak
30-Jan-18
Do you just unfreeze when needed? If you plan to buy a home in the next year what should one do?

From: HA/KS
30-Jan-18
" If you plan to buy a home in the next year what should one do?"

Save money like crazy!

From: Bowbender
30-Jan-18
Bowfreak,

Yup, you need to temporarily unfreeze each account and then refreeze. All three accounts. So if you and your spouse or S.O. want to finance something, it will be a total of 120$ to unfreeze/freeze your accounts. Nice little racket from those that were supposed to safeguard our credit. We’re being scammed. Not sure if it’s from the “good” guys or the bad guys.

From: South Farm
30-Jan-18
What about simply closing what accounts you can and reopening them with new account numbers...would that work??

From: Bob H in NH
30-Jan-18
Bowfreak, you can check with the lender to see which service they will use to verify your credit and do the check, then unfreeze that one. There may be no need to unfreeze all 3.

From: Beendare
30-Jan-18
Pats advice above is right on the money. Having passwords with your dogs name and your DOB just doesn't cut it in todays world.

My client that does cyber security recommended a password keeper like iPass or through my internet security provider like Kaspersky- Pat what do you think?

My client has white hat hackers in his company that spend all day every day improving companies networks by hacking into them- one of the weakest links people and their weak passwords it seems.

FYI, Equifax has a disclaimer that they might charge a small fee for unlocking, varies according to their settlement with the gov. We get a free one year credit monitoring.

From: Woods Walker
30-Jan-18
Put the SOBs in jail, along with their computers. This crap puts a whole new meaning to "Thief With A Briefcase"!

From: NvaGvUp
30-Jan-18
I used to allow my finance-related accounts to 'remember/save' my IDs and passwords.

No more.

I now have to enter them myself each time I log in, which is a pain, but well worth it.

From: Butternut40
30-Jan-18
Unfortunately my information has been compromised. According to the rep at Equifax it will cost $5 to unfreeze my social # after today. Today is the last day to freeze/unfreeze for free. If I understood the rep correctly, starting tomorrow they (Equifax) will offer a free service called Lock and Alert. I will have to check it out and sign up if I understood correctly.

I didn't realize that two step verification is only valid for 90 days. So every 90 days one has to renew the two step. It seems to me this should be permanent unless specified otherwise. According to Equifax once the two step is put in place with one credit agency it automatically is applied with the other two.

Thanks for the heads up and reminder.

From: Bowfreak
30-Jan-18
I locked mine, how and where do I add two step verification?

I am not familiar with that.

From: Butternut40
30-Jan-18
Bowfreak I just called their number 866-447-7559 and talked to a rep. They will ask quite a few security questions (if have mortgage, credit card etc and balances or payments made) so just be prepared to spend a bit of time.

From: Pat Lefemine
30-Jan-18
Beendare, I like KEEPER which was vetted by my security team. Lastpass is good too. I consider my Keeper app my most critical App on my phone, it also syncs with my laptop at home and work. Update one device and the other sync up.

My career is in cybersecurity, so I'm very close to this topic. I'm also a victim of ID theft so have personal knowledge on how to manage your identify and finances once you are compromised. It's not the end of the world if you catch it fast. Time is of the essence when you are compromised. And we pretty much subscribe to the belief that everyone is already breached, you just don't know it yet because they haven't gotten around to you. Take control, and you'll be fine. Don't panic. It's manageable. But if you sit back and wait for financial institution and Norton Anti-virus to protect you then you're taking a gamble. Be smart. Criminals love clueless consumers, don't be one of them.

Virtually every financial site now supports two-factor authentication. I won't do business with one who does not.

From: Pig Doc
30-Jan-18
Pat, what do you think of LifeLock? My family has been using it for the past year.

From: nowheels
30-Jan-18
Looks like as of this morning, they have extended the deadline to June 30th.

From: Pat Lefemine
30-Jan-18
I use LifeLock, although full disclosure - I get it free. It's useful. I tell people to do LifeLock Ultimate for the first year - this gives you a baseline if any of your info is on the dark web, then scale it back for Y2 to just the monitoring. Understand that you don't need LifeLock if you get credit monitoring for free which is typically provided if you are part of a breach.

From: Beendare
30-Jan-18
Good stuff Pat...appreciate the insights.

30-Jan-18
I got a call one day from the FBI identity theft division. Seems they arrested someone in detroit for robbery. When they went through the guys phone they found 30 people's I.D. All in alphabetical order. Mine was the last on the list. They were trying to figure out what we all had in common to find out where the list came from. Last I heard they were guessing something medical.

From: NvaGvUp
30-Jan-18
Listen to Pat and take his advice, guys.

He's our Chief Information Security Officer and we're a very large financial services firm.

We were the first company I ever saw to use Two-Factor security and it was at least two years before I saw it being used anywhere else.

I'm required to get audited by the state of Nevada every three years. My last one was almost two years ago. While the two auditors were here, I showed them our Duo-Security feature which we use to protect our client's information and data.

They were amazed! Even though they conduct multiple audits of businesses like ours every week, they'd never even heard of it, let alone seen a company have it.

Only in recent months have I seen any of the companies I personally use for banking, credit cards, loans, etc. implement Two-Factor security. USAA did it late last year and First Republic Bank did it as well about the same time.

That speaks very highly of Pat and of the importance Pat and his team place on protecting our clients' data.

I get approached weekly by other firms wanting me to change companies and I simply ignore them. Pat's dedication to always do the right thing for our clients is consistent with the way I've seen our company approach our business in the 42+ years I've been with them.

That's not only a great business model, it's the ONLY business model I would ever want to be a part of.

From: HA/KS
30-Jan-18
"password keeper like iPass or through my internet security provider like Kaspersky"

.

What keeps iPass from being breached? I worry about having all of my password information available at one location. I have the same reservations about Lifelock, but believe that it is an important service.

Isn't Kaspersky the company that the trump administration said we would no longer use on government computers? Do you worry about trusting a Russian company?

I am honestly asking these questions, not trying to cause trouble. As I get older, I worry about how technology keeps changing, we become more dependent on technology, companies, and people we do not know, and our ability to learn and keep up with it all diminishes.

From: kps@work
30-Jan-18

kps@work's Link
This indicates the equifax has extended the free credit freeze date to June.

From: Pat Lefemine
30-Jan-18
Henry, I don't know anything about the Kaspersky PW vault, I never looked into it. Not a big fan of Kaspersky products, but then again, all of the consumer products are pretty lame.

As far as trusting PW vaults, you need to understand how encryption works. Take KEEPER, which is what I use. They use strong encryption on the data you store with them. When you create your master PW, it becomes the decryption key. So if someone hacked into KEEPER's infrastructure, they would be unable to see your data without knowing your password. Keeper can't even see it even though they own the infrastructure. But there are also two other controls they have, they will remember (fingerprint) your device and they offer 2-factor authentication if you access your vault from a machine not fingerprinted. If you turn on all 3 of those features, the chance of it being hacked - even if you fell for a Phishing email, is incredibly remote. So I trust it.

Lifelock is different. Their entire business model revolves around holding onto your PII and guarding against ID Theft. So their security controls are incredibly resilient. I trust them as well.

But, bottom line is everything you do online contains risk. If you want a risk-free environment then turn off your PC and never use financial institutions or give anyone your SSN. Obviously, that's not practical - so it's better to be informed and learn how to take reasonable measures to protect yourself. If you do the things I mentioned above, you will be so difficult to compromise that a bad actor will rapidly give up on you and move on to one of the millions of people who do basically nothing to protect themselves.

From: NvaGvUp
30-Jan-18
Lifelock does not claim to protect you from identity theft. They only claim they will reimburse you if you suffer financial losses from identity theft.

BIG difference!

From: Pig Doc
30-Jan-18
Not true Kyle. They do provide protections through SSN and credit alerts, bank and credit card activity alerts, dark web monitoring, data breach notifications and other tools. In addition, they provide up to $1M in stolen funds reimbursement and legal fees reimbursement.

From: NvaGvUp
30-Jan-18
Pig Doc,

I trust you are correct. But that's not what they told me not all that long ago, probably because alerts, dark web monitoring, et.al. do not protect you from identity theft.

Those things only warn you you might become a victim.

My wife and I have been with Lifelock for the past few years and will continue to be so.

From: Pat Lefemine
30-Jan-18
You are both correct. They will not prevent ID theft, they alert you to things after they have happened. However, there is generally a ladder of events that escalate over time. Being notified to one of the initial events is critical from becoming a full blown ID theft victim with a wrecked credit rating.

The only thing that will prevent ID theft is credit locks which were discussed above.

From: 7mm08
02-Feb-18
How does a person know if they have had their Equifax info comprimised? Do they notify you?

From: Bowfreak
02-Feb-18
Pat,

Could you give a quick overview how to use keeper?

I have downloaded it and would like to use it.

One question....how does one protect their master password from being compromised in Keeper?

From: NvaGvUp
02-Feb-18
You can now lock your credit information on Experian for free!

This just now became available.

From: HA/KS
03-Feb-18

HA/KS's Link
What about cloud backup such as Carbonite? How safe is that?

.

If one of the biggest information services (Equifax) can be breached, why not Carbonite?

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