Last week we got the news that everyone feared. Equifax, the consumer credit reporting agency that collects and aggregates information on over 800 million individual consumers and more than 88 million businesses worldwide, had a breach of its database allowing cyber thief’s to steal personal information on 143 million Americans.
The data includes not only credit card accounts, but more scary, social security numbers. Social Security information does not go away, it is there for a lifetime, so who knows when some scoundrel from Russia or maybe North Korea will sell identities and wreak havoc with the lives of 45% of the U.S. population. According to some reports, Equifax’s cyber security was shockingly inadequate. I trust that the CEO will soon get the boot, and I hope his social security information was in the 143-million bundle.
The lesson here is that our personal data is stored in thousands of places, so it warrants that we remain vigilant watching our accounts and be on the lookout for anything suspicious. The larger lesson here is that each and every company that captures your personal data, such as apartment owners, must make the appropriate, and frankly considerable, investment in cyber security. Wow, what a bungle this was!