How well do you know what happened during the recent Equifax data breach? Take this simple quiz to find out. Then learn what you can to do to protect yourself.
D. Believe it or not, it appears that Equifax had the tools to stop this breach from happening two months before it occurred. The security hole was discovered and a patch released in March 2017, but the crooks didn't strike until May. Why wasn't it fixed? Perhaps our next question offers a clue:
D. That's right; an earlier, less publicized breach may have involved the same intruders. Equifax claims that this was not related to the hack that exposed the data on 145.5 million Americans, but they are still investigating. How bad is their security? Next question:
TRUE! By using those simple terms, a criminal could have read 14,000 credit dispute complaints that weren't even encrypted. Why aren't their systems more secure? Let's answer that question with another question:
If you guessed "Music Composition", you win and 145.5 million Americans lose. The reported Chief Security Officer at Equifax, Susan Mauldin, has both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Fine Arts in that field from the University of Georgia. She was allowed to retire soon after the hack was revealed, so she won't be around to face the music. Perhaps now she can write a sad song about it.
TRUE: In 2013, Equifax confirmed "fraudulent and unauthorized access to four consumer credit reports has occurred." So, if your identity is stolen, you're in good company. Although it's hard to believe that anyone would want to pretend to be Hillary Clinton right now.
D. Not only do they top 64,000 in total, but also the number has climbed year after year. Equifax is the target of more consumer complaints to the CFPB than any other company, including the other major credit bureaus TransUnion and Experian. And it looks like they're going to stay at #1!
TRUE! However, we don't know if he had his fingers crossed. He, too, resigned, with an $18 million pension and millions more coming in bonuses next year.
Forever! There's no way to tell if or when identity theft will occur, and it's up to you to protect yourself. A free membership to MoneyTips includes our credit monitoring service at no charge. Premium MoneyTips members enjoy more protection, including advanced identity theft and fraud alerts as well as $1 million identity theft insurance, for less than $10 per month.
TRUE! A fraud alert requires that any lenders or creditors take reasonable steps to verify your identity before issuing new credit in your name. There is no charge, and you only have to alert a single credit bureau. With a credit freeze, potential new creditors cannot access your credit report at all; therefore, they will not issue credit in your name. There are often costs involved, and you have to alert all three credit bureaus. Learn more about these two credit tools.
D. Sadly, it's all true. We didn't ask the credit bureaus to hold our data. It doesn't seem fair that we have to pay for their mistakes. However, their customers are really the companies who extend us credit, not consumers. In the wake of this unprecedented breach, some US Senators are proposing legislation to make credit freezes free for the innocent victims.
How did you do on the test? Just the fact that these questions need to be asked means that consumers are not doing well. If you would like to monitor your credit to prevent identity theft and see your credit report and score for free within minutes, check out our credit monitoring service.
Photo iStockphoto.com/djedzura, tashka2000
Originally Posted at: https://www.moneytips.com/simple-equifax-data-breach-quiz/193
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