CyberSecurity. You’ve heard the word, you’ve heard the warnings, and you’ve no doubt seen the now infamous “Lifelock” commercial. You know the one where the CEO of that company puts his Social Security Number on the side of a truck and showed it on ads all over the TV. Ultimately, not a smart move and an ineffective marketing gimmick. Even if you missed it, there is no doubt that you’ve heard of Equifax and unless you’ve been living under a rock, Equifax was hacked!
This is a company that stores data for nearly any American that has ever applied for credit. That is practically everyone! This is a company that should have the best practices, firewalls and security so that a breach of this magnitude never happens. But the scary reality is that it did happened and my only question is WHY WHY WHY are more people not taking action to get protected.
Someone told me something a bit silly a few days ago. They actually said that they weren’t worried about the “Equifax thing.” The “Equifax thing?” You mean the data breach that hacked into 145 million personal records? He continues to say that “if his record was just one in 145 million, the odds of anything happening had to be pretty slim, right?” Sure, it’ll probably be fine… sleep tight. I am positive that your private information is not on the dark web at this very moment being sold for $2.
I also hear things like “I’m just not a technical person” and never put my personal information online. Yes, Jay, I am taking about you! Jay, that is not his real name but he knows who he is, lives his life under the false veil of security because he doesn’t use the internet to make purchases. It’s not your fault Jay but please sit down before you read this next part. The numbers don’t lie, there are over 187.5 million people with active credit reports, even if you didn’t put it online, it doesn’t mean that someone else hasn’t created an opportunity to be hacked…ah, the “Equifax thing.”
Remember Jay, not everything is done digitally. Hackers are sneaky in their methods of collecting your personal data. My daughter got a call from the Bountiful Police Department today informing her that they caught someone stealing mail out of mailboxes. This guy was apprehended almost 20 miles away from our house, on foot. Apparently, he made a pass down my street and cleaned out our mailbox. My daughter’s replacement drivers license was in the mailbox that day and he was carrying it around with him when he was picked up. My daughter’s identity has been compromised, that is undisputable. For all I know, he might have any number of other pieces of our private information, mortgage statement, bank statement.
I am sorry Jay, but I have more bad news. Being “non-technical” may do you more harm than good in today’s environment. By not being an informed user of his financial life online, Jay is probably going to be the last to know if his information has gotten compromised. The next time Jay gets his credit run, the next time he needs to buy a car, apply for a cell phone, apply for a job, that is when he will get the bad news. He thinks he’s safe, but the reality is that he’s just more blind to the problem than most.