The Equifax data breach

Equifax lost control of their database of highly detailed quietly collected and private consumer Credit data for 143 Million US consumers -- 44% of US population.
Information accessed included names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some instances driver's license numbers. 

Equifax is believed to have first become aware of the incident on July 29, while the breach is believed to have occurred from mid-May through July. So that's half of May, June, and July -- or ~2.5 months of unauthorized access to the most sensitive and privacy-requiring consumer financial data before the intrusion was detected. 

This, of course, raises broad concerns regarding Equifax's overall data security and practices. Equifax kept it secret for five weeks.... Equifax was first unaware of the breach for about two and a half months, then they waited for five weeks after learning about it -- while their database was leaked and the personal details of 143 million US consumers sensitive consumer data was in the wild before disclosing this to the public so that the public could take action to protect themselves.

What you can (must!) do:


Establish monitoring for unusual access patterns to your public Web resources. Nowadays there are a lot of open source and commercial products available to detect such patterns and give alerts. We recommend such monitoring as good operations practice for business-critical Web-based services.

I found this useful website with good information and guidance about how to freeze your credit.

http://clark.com/personal-finance-credit/credit-freeze-and-thaw-guide/

The cost varies, depending upon where you are, from $3 to $10. In California, it was $10. You may have to pay to thaw it when needed.

It's sad that we have to do this but an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

Always reset cable modem to default settings

Recently we had my Spectrum Business internet connection go down. No matter what I tried it just was not coming back online. My router log showed daily outages varying from a few seconds to 15 minutes. I complained about it but nothing got resolved by Comcast / Spectrum  business cable. Finally they had send a technician who checked the line and replaced their modem/router combo and left.

One they the internet connection permanently failed. So I called tech support again and spoke to a very knowledgable technician who figured out that the old modem/router combo had been installed in an other location still using my static IP address!

Rather then sending the modem back for inspection and reset the technician must have kept the modem and connected it for an other client without even bothering to check the setup witch he could not have done since I always change the default username and password. Once they reset the old modem to factory settings therewith bumping the new client off line my internet connection came back a live and has been stable.

Lesson learned:

Always insist in resetting your internet modem to factory setting before installation and when returning to the ISP. You can't trust that your ISP for doing this basic task.