What Does The Data Breach Mean for You?

What Does The Data Breach Mean for You?

Photographer: Markus Spiske | Source: Unsplash

If you are a regular consumer, you probably haven't thought too much about cyber attacks or data breaches. Most of us just accept passwords as a partly annoying but necessary factor of modern-day life. In some instances, we opt to get rid of them – making it easier for anyone to access our phone or laptop, and in fact, much of what we hold near. Think of how much information any of your devices holds nowadays? You likely have a banking app, your cards scanned, or shopping apps with your credit card details saved. Just a small data breach can expose your sensitive information. The last thing you need is your bank details in the wrong hands.

Although the technology is constantly improving to thwart off cyber attacks, the amount of them is still cause for alarm.

What is a Data Breach?

You may not even be sure as to what a data breach actually is. It is a confirmed incident where confidential or sensitive data has been hacked or accessed by a third party who should not have access to that information. When you see a data breach announced, it is a serious concern for the organization that it happened to, and the people whose information has been disclosed. This may be your name, address, your account details, your health files, or information that is sensitive to your business.

What was the Equifax Data Breach?

Between May and July 2017, hackers gained access to the data stored within Equifax servers, one of the country's three largest credit bureaus. This meant that millions, 147 million in fact, of people had their data stolen, or at least exposed in a security breach. This was one of the largest breaches seen to date globally, and its ramifications are still being felt, particularly in Equifax.

How Did The Data Breach Occur?

According to Equifax staff, it was the result of a flaw in a web-building application. In fact, the company was aware of the issue at least two months in advance of the data breach, however, they hadn't acted upon it. One of the main reasons for this is that no one had tried, in that time, to access the data. Then some wily hackers chanced upon the flaw, and within two to three months, they succeeded.

The tool that allowed the breach is called Apache Struts, and it transpires that the flaw in this software was identified in March. Many large companies across the U.S use Apache Struts and Equifax as a support for their online dispute portal. US-CERT, a cyber-security arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, discovered the flaw and disclosed it to a number of companies. Steps should have been taken to prevent any customer information from getting out.

Although some efforts were made to try and repair or patch up the problem, it obviously wasn't dealt with correctly. Large organizations can take time to address issues such as these, due to their day-to-day activities and the amount of protocol to go through. However, there's no doubt that they left themselves exposed far too long, and by July 29th, when "suspicious activity" was noticed, it was far too late.

Was Anyone Held Accountable for the Data Breach?

Well, in effect, yes. It would seem that two people left pretty quickly after the news broke of the data breach. Susan Mauldin, the chief security officer and Dave Webb, the chief information officer, both "retired" from Equifax in September 2017.

The FBI and Federal Trade Commission both conducted investigations of Equifax in relation to the data breach. At the beginning of August 2019, it was announced that Equifax will have to pay up to $700 million to settle this with the Federal Trade Commission and other bodies, including the general public.

A pool of $380.5 million is available to compensate customers who were affected by the breach.

What You Should Do?

Well, first thing's first, if you don't know by now whether you were affected, then it's best to discover that first. Do that by visiting this site now.

Then you should follow these steps:

1. Pull up your credit report. See if there is anything unusual on it, paying close attention to the period of May – September 2017. Has anyone attempted to get a card using your details and Social Security number?

2. Submit a claim with Equifax for free credit monitoring. You can get this for up to ten years on your account. If you were under 18 at the time of the breach, you will be eligible for up to 18 years of free credit monitoring. Previously there was a cash settlement offered if you had credit monitoring in place, however, since many people applied for this option, the fund has receded.

3. If there has been unusual activity on your credit report, then you should file a claim immediately. Claims can only be filed until January 22nd, 2020.

You can file claims for:

a) Time you spent dealing with the breach. This is capped at 20 hours.

b) Any losses from unauthorized charges to any of your accounts, or accounts set up in your name.

c) Any fees for freezing or unfreezing your credit report in relation to this breach.

d) The cost of any professionals you hired in relation to this, such as attorneys or accountants.

e) Any additional charges related to the above such as travel, notary fees, postage, document shipping, etc.

Note that cash payments are capped at $20,000 per person.

To Protect Yourself In Future

Although it can be difficult to protect your information when it is in the hands of big companies, you can be careful who you are giving it to.

You can take steps to protect yourself against identity theft, and discover what you should do if you have been a victim of this crime.

Always ensure you keep your information private, even when you are just filling it in on a form at the local post office or bank. If you are online, ensure that you are not on a public network where the simplest of hacks could pick up on your information. If you are trusting a company with your private information, then ask them how they are going to protect it. Let's hope big organizations have learned a lesson from the Equifax data breach.


credit repair and how fare to go

credit repair is often different from one person to another but still there are common methods of getting it done. For example; on your credit report there are more than likely errors that need to be reported to the credit bureaus, these can hugely affect your credit and the powers that be want to know of the error so that you have a credit report that better represents you. But that then brings me to my next credit repair point, its in your best interest to report anything that looks negative as an error… there are so many moving parts on a persons credit report that little edits like this could mean the difference in getting that new car you need to get to work with. See most people in todays economy dont want to “not” pay their bills on time or at all, its people are out of work or cant get to the work they can get.

when i went through my little unemployment experience, it nearly destroyed me and i know it destroyed my credit… but more importantly i knew i owed these people money, i just had no options, i sold anything i had of value… eating cup-o-noodles… the whole 9 yards, i really wanted to pay these people and it really took me digging deep and getting two jobs to get out of it. Take care of your credit, any way you can, you never know when you’ll need it again. Trust me credit repair.

Credit Repair Intelligence System

The well know software Credit Repair Intelligence System is undergoing an upgrade from its creator Zodiac Publishing. from now on all issues of this software will come with a “debt free bible course” to help people keep their credit high after the software does its job.

for those of you that dont know the Credit repair intelligence system includes a 250+ page printed manual, an online members only forum to get real time help, and a “Random Dispute Generator” software for creating unique credit dispute letters.

Zodiac Publishing Corporation has published credit repair courses and materials for over 15 years. Owner Jay Peters and his staff have spent much of that time researching, developing, and testing credit repair methodologies to help consumers navigate the often confusing credit system. The company has taught thousands of people how to fix their credit and maintains an “A” rating with the Northern Nevada Better Business Bureau.

Tips to Credit Repair

A credit report is probably the most detailed profile that can exist on someone with the exception of maybe a police report. They are used now a days for just about everything, want to move into an apartment, well there is a credit check normally involved. For the people who do not have good credit for whatever reason are much more likely to encounter troubles when it comes to simple things that people with good credit take for granted. Fortunately for those people credit repair is now a possibility, through the three different reporting bureaus you can get all the information on yourself required. Take a look at all the statements, and remember when engaging in credit repair it is extremely important to document everything that you have done and come across within the reports. One simple thing that you can always do to repair credit is to not allow companies or organizations to pull your credit report, unless it is absolutely necessary. Once a company has pulled that information they are making a determination of something based off very detailed financial information. The other major thing in credit repair is to remember to dispute anything on your report that is questionable to you, this can be accomplish often times online and is not very difficult, however documentation is key. Getting a credit card with a low limit and simply making a payment no matter how small is also very important in credit repair. Although simple tips these will help in the future and allow you to perform credit repair as well as credit protection.


Spiritual Credit Repair

Peter Popoff often times seen preaching on television is now singing a new tune. His new tune is supernatural credit repair and debt relief. Essentially it is all a con, the person is using a religious front as a way to promote something for himself. This is downright a scam and it is sad that someone drops down to the level of using religion to scam someone out of money. Exactly how the scam has been working is still unclear, however Popoff is preaching credit repair through the bible, which as most people know there is no book of credit repair after revelations. People should always look at things like this and remember that if it seems too good to be true it probably is, going to church does not give you credit repair or any other form of debt relief. Always keep a watchful eye out for things that try to take advantage of something that a person is naturally inclined to, and if it is tied in with something like religion be extra weary. Business and religion often times don’t mix, and therefore to see credit repair as part of a spiritual ceremony is absolutely absurd. Watch for potentially more of these springing up in the future, especially if the economy stays down like it has the past few years. You know it is brutal when people are preaching debt relief and credit repair as a televangelist. Always be weary of what is going on when it comes to potential credit repair scams.

Interested in a Credit Repair Contest

There is a first in the financial world, and that is a credit repair contest. One of the national credit organization is allowing people to take part in a contest to repair credit. The national credit organization is performing this contest to allow people who are the lucky winners to get free credit repair, which is valued at over $500. The costs associated with bad credit can haunt someone for a very long time, banks will avoid you like you are a felon, bad credit can even keep you from getting a job. Credit repair has become more and more common, and now people are even having more and more access and ability to either hire a credit repair professional or even do it themselves. This service is becoming more and more important for people to keep track of their credit and perform credit repair when necessary. With the access for people who want to run a credit check on someone it is now more important than ever, as credit checks are used for just about everything now a days. To enter this credit repair contest it is simple log onto facebook and go onto the National Credit Organization’s page and answer one simple question. This credit repair contest is simple as that, remember to stay on top of your credit. It is much easier to fall out of grace with credit companies than it is to perform credit repair, take advantage of this one time opportunity.

Credit Repair Scam

A firm based out of Texas is the newest target in Arkansas for falsely stating it can do credit repair and is again charging up front which is a violation of federal law. TRW Ventures is the firm that is in violation of how you can legally charge for credit repair, the suite against them is aimed at not only stopping their practices, as well as seeking restitution for people who fell victim of this companies practices. The problem with this specific firm is that they are offering credit repair, taking the money from the potential client up front, while not actually providing any service for the money that is being fronted. People who seek credit repair often times fall victim to these organizations due to the fact that they feel it is a last chance to improve their financial record. Credit repair like anything else you are thinking of engaging in requires research, look hard into a company before you leap into anything. Meaning don’t just simply take the first one you see online, no matter what situation financially you are in, some of these credit repair companies are simply scams just like this company proved to be. Credit repair is something that people really can use in many cases, however just always be weary of the company that is offering the services, if they are claiming to be able to work miracles they probably cannot. Financial information is all numbers, and therefore follows probabilities, meaning miracles are often times out of the question.


Credit Repair How To:

There are many ways to go about trying to repair your credit, however some are more efficient than others. Credit repair can be done by yourself by simply contacting the reporting bureau and disputing certain things that appear on your records. This although sounding simple is much more complex than it appears to be, it is not simply dispute and forget when credit repair is the key. Credit repair is a full time job, and if you are in doubt if you have the time to take care of it yourself than hiring a professional may be your best bet, however for those out there still interested in doing this long and tedious task themselves here’s how to go about it. The tediousness of credit repair comes directly from working with the credit reporters, as often times when you dispute something on your credit statement they can find verification for something even though it is not an accurate report in the first place. This is where your rights under the fair credit reporting act should be invoked, as you will need to get dirty tracking down information from the source, be very careful throughout the process in documentation. Credit repair is difficult but not impossible, remember to get verification for everything as well as documenting every bit of information that is available to you. These simple facts can give you a jump start on your credit repair, now all you have to do is go out there and start it.


Credit Repair and Foreclosure Company in Hot Water in N.C.

The attorney general of North Carolina has issues a formal complaint against one of the loan modification and credit repair companies. The company has been charging people advanced fees for services that often times would not be handled properly resulting in the foreclosure and loss of someone’s home. This company specifically Eddie Long had advertised himself as an experienced credit repair professional. The information he provided was often times simply falsified, and none of the things that he claimed he could do for people simply were not true. The complaint doesn’t come from the specific inability for him to not be able to get things done, the complaint comes from unsettling business practices. Eddie Long had been charging in advanced for his credit repair and foreclosure avoidance assistance, which in the state of North Carolina is illegal. The other major deal was that for the people he failed to follow through on in either the credit repair or the foreclosure that asked for a refund he simply ignored. Eddie Long has taken advantage of people who need one of the most important services offered in the financial community, credit repair, and is rightfully barred from engaging in business through his company in North Carolina. The eventual goal of the attorney general is to completely shut down the credit repair company for not only false advertisement, but for failure to return money for services. The company deserves to go under, the violation of fair business especially in the credit repair industry is absolutely intolerable.


Santa Ana Credit Repair Firm Lawsuit!

A credit repair company based in Santa Ana has been charged by Federal Regulators on Wednesday for biking ten million dollars. It has been charged that this credit repair company has pushed those people into more problems that were desperately looking for a solution for their debt problems.

Federal Trade Commission has forced a lawsuit while accusing the National Consumer Council of Deceptive Claims. The practices from this agency offer real worries for so many people. FTC has also charged that the council has violated the Do Not Call rule implemented by Government registry. Due to such a reason more than 1,000 complaints have been registered. People who have put their phone details on this list have given complaints about it. They have also charged that calls from the telemarketers have offered them lots of problems.

This has been marked as the first law force implemented by FTC. It has taken such step due to an alleged violation of the law. Unwanted telemarketing calls have really disturbed people’s life.  Due to the lawsuit, the agency has confirmed that council has billed things wrongly as far as its services are concerned. It has also announced itself as a nonprofit organization and propelled pushed people into a possible scam when they have enrolled themselves with its debt settlement programs. This company has negotiated to offer a onetime fee with the customers. Credit repair.