If you were one of the 143 million Americans that had their data compromised in the September 2017 Equifax breach you will want to read on. According to the FBI, thieves that steal personal data park the information until it can be used with the greatest likelihood of success. Then they sell it, and you become a victim of identity theft, with a side of ruined credit. Timeline of the threat:
- Thieves steal your data.
- The compromised company provides one year of free credit monitoring.
- After the year is up the free service jumps to $10 a month.
- Most victims of the theft drop the service.
- Then your data sold on the black market.
- Your credit is ruined.
There is a better third choice. You can freeze your credit, which will essentially block anyone from using your stolen data. You should also check your credit report.
I find it ironic that as late as December 2017, when searching for news about the breach, I came across this Equifax site offering their services in the area of data protection. Maybe they should have hired themselves.
From a business ethics perspective, it is interesting that the same company that lost your data stands to profit off of those victims that opt to continue paying for the monitoring service.