Privacy seems to be becoming an increasingly scarce commodity. How often do we hear about security breaches exposing our personal information to some bad actor somewhere? It feels like it’s almost daily.
LastPass, the password security app (ironically enough), Chick-fil-A and Twitter have all recently (as in the past two weeks or so) experienced security failures.
And even if I win a A billion dollar lotteryOnly a few countries allow you to remain anonymous. You can’t even buy privacy, apparently.
Big money = little privacy
Let’s say you just won a billion dollar lottery, and everyone should know about it. Yes, sure, you’ll want to share the exciting news with your family and friends (yes?). But tell the world? Yikes.
In most states, you cannot claim the jackpot without revealing your identity.
The rules vary according to the laws prevailing in each state. Although the landscape changes often, only about a dozen states allow you to remain anonymous. Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia are among those that give you the option to keep the big news to yourself.
Every other country requires some form of identification for the top winners. In California, state laws require release of the winner’s full name and where the ticket was purchased. This could be the reason why the $2 billion Powerball ticket winner hasn’t appeared as of November.
Some states will allow you to set up a trust to accept the return, which can add a layer of privacy.
So if you win the lottery, check your state laws to see if you have to wear a mask and change your name after you cash in. Or you could cut the cash and move to Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific. Said to be one of the most isolated spots in the world, it’s only home to about 50 people – but there’s high-speed internet.
You’ll have to travel with all your friends, family, and food, but hey, as for you, the big winner, The cost is nothing.
Your credit report for all to see
Well, this is the fun corner of privacy dreaming of winning the lottery. The most pressing privacy concern is related to your credit score.
a Experian site defect, which is one of the three major credit reporting companies, it was reported recently. According to Brian Krebs, a computer security reporter and blogger, identity thieves have been recovering the credit reports of an unknown number of consumers.
Apparently, a glitch allowed someone to bypass the usual security measures and access the consumer report. All that was required was the person’s name, address, date of birth, and social security number—items often found on the dark web for a price.
This month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released an analysis of nearly half a million consumer complaints involving credit reporting bureaus — namely Experian as well as Equifax and TransUnion. CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said credit bureaus “routinely top the list of complaints filed by consumers,” but the report also called for improvements in the way complaints are handled and the frequency of relief provided to consumers.
The bureau said the three credit reporting agencies must continue to work to improve compliance with consumer financial protection laws and better serve consumers. “We will explore new rules to make sure they follow the law rather than cut corners to feed into the profit model,” Chopra added.
Last year, the CFPB reported that credit reporting companies “often allowed their operations to be used to coerce individuals into paying medical bills they may not even owe.”
Once medical bills were grouped and submitted to credit reporting agencies, the CFPB said, consumers saw their credit scores drop. Lower grades became “weapons” that collectors could use against people to force payment. Some people were so frustrated that they simply gave up and paid, whether the amount was owed or not. They were desperate to end the collection hassle and protect their credit from further damage.
This year, credit bureaus will stop reporting medical debt collections of less than $500, changes to Credit scoring forms It will reduce the credit score impact of unpaid medical debt.
False “unsolicited statements” in credit reports
In a recently reported Experian credit report access report, security reporter Krebs said that when he accessed his report using the security glitch criminals he used, he found his credit report had “several errors that would likely take a significant part of effort to correct.” “.
In an October statement, the CFPB noted a proliferation of “patently false” spam statements in consumer credit reports. An example is accusing someone of “defaulting on a loan before they were born.”
With recent security breaches and breaches in mind, you may want to:
Update your master password Password manager app (or get one if you don’t have one), and change the passwords of any important financial sites you access.
Request your credit file from yearcreditreport.com, the government site that allows you to do so Access your three credit reports for free. Find errors, then report and correct them to the appropriate office.