The financial world was dealt a big blow this month when it was learned that Equifax experienced a hack earlier in the year. This means several people’s names, account information, social security number, birthdate, driver’s license number, etc., were stolen, giving the hackers an entryway into their financial lives. We asked our writers, “Will the Equifax hack change the way you protect your identity?”
Phil doesn’t plan to do anything differently and says he’ll just keep protecting his identity the same ways he always has. He changes passwords at least once or twice a year and doesn’t click on things in emails. He also uses Spycloud, a service that informs him “of any intrusions of online services and if [his] details turned up on any of the exposed data.”
Simon feels the key takeaway from the Equifax hack is the idea that “no company is too big to be hacked.” This is going to make him more cautious of who he gives his personal details to, even if the company seems “unhackable.” He also notes that using a different password for each service is important because going without doing it “can escalate an attack on one of your accounts into an attack on all of them!”
Kenneth has realized that that we’re all vulnerable if such a “big and internationally-recognized company” like Equifax can get hacked. “The hackers are upping their game with the advancement in technology.” His question in all of this is what major credit card companies are going to do to make their customers feel more at ease. He thinks our best security is what we create for ourselves and is going to think of ways to add an extra layer of security to his online identity.
Fabio puts it simply that it’s just going to remind him to change his password frequently.
Ryan explained that “aside from taking all your money out of the bank and putting it under your mattress and paying for everything in cash,” he’s not sure what can be done, as you can’t change your Social Security number or your birthday like you can a password.
But he feels it’s important to make sure we tell lawmakers to put legislation in place for tighter regulations, yet he also realizes members of the GOP want to “dismantle the regulations already in place.”
I tend to see this issue like Ryan. It’s not about changing MY passwords, as my security wasn’t the one that was breached. It was Equifax’s.
I had my information hacked in a similar way through TurboTax. Many people had their information stolen. The I.R.S. was rejecting the claim submitted by me and my husband because they already had one filed by a hacker who had our address, social security number, etc. That wasn’t my doing, so there isn’t much I could do to fix it other than never use TurboTax again.
How do you see this issue with Equifax? Are you resolving to do things like change your passwords more often? Or do you think this is something that’s out of your hands? Will the Equifax hack change the way you protect your identity? Join our conversation in the comments below.