A Little Rant About Cyber Security

I feel that having an anti-virus is very important. However, I don’t like to share too much information. The more information we share online, the more likelihood that someone may try to take advantage of that.

For example, for years I joined every loyalty/points club that was out there, and allowed large home improvement, grocery and department stores to email me receipts or accumulate information about my purchases. I’m sure none of these companies had bad intentions, but eventually we heard news releases from several retailers that they had been hacked and SORRY some of my information may have been compromised. My favourite grocery/points company sent me many emails about their data breach, but initially the emails implied that the breach was due to people using weak passwords. Was it my fault that they had widespread data breaches because of my one password?

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The other day, we noticed that our gas station points had been used to buy gas at a gas station 8 hours away from us in another province. The company representative reinstated our points and replaced our cards, but stated that they hadn’t been hacked. We will never know will we?

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Even Equifax which safekeeps our social insurance and credit information has been hacked.

” In September of 2017, Equifax announced it experienced a data breach, which impacted the personal information of approximately 147 million people. A federal court is considering a proposed class action settlement submitted on July 22, 2019, that, if approved by the Court, would resolve lawsuits brought by consumers after the data breach. Equifax denies any wrongdoing, and no judgment or finding of wrongdoing has been made. “https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/

So Equifax, collects and shares sensitive personal and financial information about consumers for a profit. Wikipedia tells us that “Equifax collects and aggregates information on over 800 million individual consumers and more than 88 million businesses worldwide. In addition to credit and demographic data and services to business,[4] Equifax sells credit monitoring and fraud-prevention services directly to consumers.[5]Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Equifax operates or has investments in 24 countries in the Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific. With over 10,000 employees worldwide, Equifax has US$3.1 billion in annual revenue” If this company collects information about us, doesn’t it have the responsibility to safeguard it? But it denies any wrongdoing?

But that’s OK Equifax offers a credit monitoring service, so -” You can get free credit monitoring services. Or, if you already have credit monitoring services, you can request a cash payment of up to $125. ” So you could provide more information about yourself, and trust Equifax to make sure that you are safe…….

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Thank goodness I use an anti-virus on my computer.

Regularly I get an email from my anti-virus provider. It says “you have a new identity alert”. It’s alarming and it catches my attention. “— is monitoring your identity to protect you from cyber criminals”. YIKES – I’d better follow up on that. How do they know and what do they know? I click on the alert and it wants me to create a user ID and provide more information about myself. So if they don’t know my identity, how do they know I have cyber criminals stalking me? I trigger the online tech support chat……

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“Please understand that it is not a marketing email. The ——– is the product that is already present in your subscription. The email is to remind you about creating the user id with this product. So please contact the ID theft support to get this done.”

So there is no actual identity alert you want me to put more information about myself so that you can set up identity alert?

“Yes that is correct.” Phew! I feel safer already.

A silly little rant about cyber security and identity protection online.
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