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How clever is your password? If it’s on the list below, your password is just as easily stolen as it is remembered. Protect yourself by making sure you’re not using one of the top 25 most commonly stolen passwords, as determined by IT security firm SplashData.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017 15:29

6 Tips: Shopping for a Safe Vehicle

September is the month when car sales and purchase incentives start to improve for car buyers. If you plan to buy a vehicle, review and download this guide to ensure that the car you buy is safe.


Did You Know?

Every new car must meet certain federal safety standards, but that doesn’t mean that all cars are equally safe. Many automakers offer safety features beyond the required federal minimums. Find out more about what safety features make a vehicle safe.


6 Tips To Know Before Shopping For A Safe Vehicle

Consider the following safety features:

  1. Crashworthiness: These features reduce the risk of death or serious injury when a crash occurs. Crashworthiness ratings can be found at:

  2. Vehicle structural design: A good structural design has a strong occupant compartment, known as the safety cage, as well as front and rear ends designed to buckle and bend in a crash to absorb the force of the crash.

Equifax, one of the largest credit reporting agencies in the United States, was recently the victim of a massive cyber attack—an attack that may have compromised the personal information of 143 million people.
The breach itself occurred between mid-May and July 2017 when cyber criminals gained access to sensitive data by exploiting a weak point in website software. As a result of the attack, sensitive information like Social Security numbers, birthdays, addresses and driver's license numbers were compromised. In addition, Equifax said 209,000 credit card numbers were stolen, including information from international customers in Canada and the United Kingdom.

The recent attack on Equifax is the third major cyber security threat the organization has experienced since 2015 and one of the largest risks to personally sensitive information in recent years. The attack is so severe, in fact, it’s likely that anyone with a credit report was affected.

If you are concerned that you may have been impacted by the breach, Equifax has set up a website to help individuals determine if any of their personal information may have been stolen. Complete the following steps:

  1. Go to the “Check Potential Impact” page.
  2. Provide your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number.

From there, a dialogue box will pop up and indicate whether or not your information was lost in the hack. All U.S. customers will also be given the opportunity to sign up for TrustedID Premier, which is an Equifax service that includes identity theft insurance, credit reports, and a service that crawls the internet and alerts you if your Social Security number is posted somewhere online. This service will be free for one year for those who sign up by Nov. 21st.

If you have been impacted by the breach, experts recommend engaging in a credit freeze. This effectively locks down your Social Security number on your credit report and prevents criminals from opening up new lines of credit under your name. For more information on credit freezes, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website.

It should be noted that it may not be obvious that you are a customer of Equifax, as the company gets its data from credit card companies, banks and lenders that report on credit activity. As such, it’s important to follow the appropriate steps and check to see if your information was compromised.
Additionally, you should review your online bank and credit card statements on a weekly basis. This will help you monitor any suspicious activity. Contact law enforcement officials if you believe criminals have used your stolen information in some way. 

Baldwin/Welsh & Parker Insurance Agencies, Inc. will continue to monitor the Equifax cyber incident, providing any major updates as necessary.


See Related Article: 6 Equifax hack rumors fact-checked

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