How to Freeze a Credit Report to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

If your Social Security number gets hacked in any data breaches, including recently hacked T-Mobile, then there’s a way to prevent hackers from misusing your identity (i.e. identity theft).

The solution here is that you can institute a security freeze at each of the three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, or Transunion. Once frozen, nobody will be allowed to access your credit report, which will prevent any identity thieves from opening new accounts in your name.

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What you should know about the new credit cards. Oh, by the way, they won’t stop data thieves

Banks and credit companies have been sending consumers new cards, which look like their old cards but are fitted with a small metallic high-tech chip known as EMV. That stands for Europay, MasterCard, Visa — the three companies that created the standard. The chip’s goal: keeping thieves from easily accessing consumers’ personal information.

The new cards will NOT defeat data thieves.

Credit card fraud is a growing problem in the U.S. About 31.8 million U.S. consumers had their credit card information stolen last year, more than three times the number of consumers affected in 2013, according to a report published by Javelin, a company that studies customer transactions. According to a report from Barclays earlier this year, almost half of the world’s credit card fraud occurs in the U.S.

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Hackers cash out directly from ATMs, don’t need to steal your card first

Hackers looking to steal money from ATMs have targeted your credit cards for years, trying to obtain access to it by hacking online services and retail shops. However, since more and more markets including America are adopting more secure payment methods like chip-and-PIN cards and mobile payments, some talented hackers are adapting their game accordingly.

Rather than trying to steal credit cards, clone them and only then try to obtain cash out of ATMs, some people are simply targeting the machines with malware that makes them spit out cash on command.

This isn’t the first time such ATM malicious programs have been discovered, but the level of sophistication is even higher….

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Why is it that identity theft and data breaches will only get worse?

To make things even more scary, hackers are now able to obtain a vehicle identification number (VIN) and resell it without hardly a trace. It’s also recently been reported in the news that some new car wireless control systems are being hacked into, which can cause serious accidents and even death.

Many stores now put “chips” in their credit cards that hold each consumer’s non-public information.

While we tend to think technology makes our lives easier, however, many companies are missing the mark in making sure that these devices are secure from thieves in the first place. Only more victims and time will tell the whole story as to how bad this problem will get.

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CVS investigating credit card breach on photo site

CVS is warning customers of its online photo printing service that their credit card data may have been breached.

The website cvsphoto.com was inactive Friday, replaced by a note from the company that read, “We have been made aware that customer credit card information collected by the independent vendor who manages and hosts CVSPhoto.com may have been compromised. As a precaution, as our investigation is underway we are temporarily shutting down access to online and related mobile photo services. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

Security expert Brian Krebs pointed out on his site that last week Walmart Canada reported a similar breach of its photo site. The two companies both work with third-party vendor PNI Digital Media, which provides….

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Starbucks customers who use mobile app targeted in hacking scheme

A warning to Starbucks customers to change their passwords: The coffee chain’s app and gift cards that are linked to credit cards are particularly at risk.

Starbucks says hackers get access by entering the correct password and draining the balance by transferring the money to another Starbucks gift card. When the balance hits zero, it automatically reloads because it’s attached to customers’ credit cards. And then it’s drained again….

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