“Agent X” is a client and long-time friend of the Camardas and friend of the firm, is ex-FBI, ex-black ops, and probably ex-lots of stuff we don’t know about. He is a very serious and scary dude. He knows his stuff! Listen to him! – Jeff
Several things come to mind in watching the lack of security patching, as stated in the news, which has caused almost all adults in the US to have their Credit and PII data furnished to the dark Web for criminal activities. Here is my advice:
DO NOT Accept their one year of protection. With breaches of this size the data is held and sold like gold for future use. The data will be bought and sold over the next five or more years to the highest bidder. It will also be sold more than one time.
DO NOTHING if you bury your money in a coffee can in your yard.
DO NOT Change your Social Security Account Number (SSAN) the new number will be tied to your old one as this is how the system works and if you break this tie you are starting fresh on all benefits. With the Social Security Administration, you have to prove you are the owner of the number. It will appear to them that two or more people will now have the same number and they have no way of choosing the actual owner. Correcting your benefits to your earnings and taxes paid that is yours, and not another person’s, takes years of effort and probably a lot of attorney’s fees.
DO Get a long-term protection agency like, but not limited to, Life Lock, or Kroll and Associates for the full line of protection for you and your family. This is something Jeff and Kim have had for years, and strongly suggest you join them! Plan on this as a cost of being in the credit world for the remainder of your life. This should be acquired for all members of your family if they have a Social Security Account Number and or form of credit including things like ApplePay or Venmo.
DO Freeze your credit report as soon as you can get through to all three agencies. These are Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. Yes, you have to go to each one for this freeze.
DO Use common sense and review all of your credit card transactions and credit filings – reports to be sure your data, is not being tested for large scale frauds. Per Jeff and Kim, American Express is a champ at providing fast credit card transaction and fraud alert info, others like MasterCard and Visa not so much. Life Lock and other services can also alert you to this. Yes your data is on the dark web and is compromised. Get used to it.
DO Finally use this example and going forward be sure You patch all of your computers as soon as possible as they are also targets and the data lost will point to your electronic life. Do not become your own Equifax.