This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
In case you missed the news, it’s more likely than not that Equifax lost your data to unknown hackers between May and July of this year. As of the last count, over 145 million Americans had their most sensitive financial data compromised. As confirmed by the company, this was in part to this information not being encrypted on the Equifax servers.
With the extensive data breach, banks and credit card companies are now looking into how else they can verify identities. With so many social security numbers, dates of birth and addresses compromised, your next credit card application could require a selfie to verify your identity.
Within weeks of the public revealing, long-time Equifax CEO Richard Smith — the CEO at the helm of the credit bureau at the time of the hack — suddenly retired. Now, both he and the interim CEO Paulino do Rego Barros Jr. are facing congressional hearings about the massive breach.
At a session last week, Mr. Barros tried to reassure the Senate Commerce Committee that the company is doing all that it can to make sure that a breach doesn’t happen again. Equifax has “quadrupled spending on security, updated its security tools and changed its corporate structure since the breach” according to the report by the Wall Street Journal on the session.
But, on the key question of whether or not our sensitive personal data is encrypted, Mr. Barros could only respond “I don’t know at this stage.”
Considering the importance of encrypting data as a basic step to preventing further breaches, there are two likely possibilities behind this statement. Either the interim CEO isn’t aware of the critical need for encryption. Or, more likely, the CEO doesn’t want to admit that Equifax still hasn’t taken this basic security step to protect our data more than two months after the breach was revealed.
Equifax has gone into public relations damage control mode since. In an emailed statement to the Wall Street Journal, an Equifax spokesperson said that the company is in the process of “either encrypting or deleting” data stored on its systems and that “Equifax has deployed multiple methodologies to strengthen security and protect data.”
Here’s the interaction from the Senate Commerce Committee related to encryption:
For more about the Equifax breach, see the posts below:
- What to Do If Your Personal Information Was Compromised in the Equifax Data Breach
- Everything You Need to Know About Freezing Your Credit
- Equifax CEO Quits Following Massive Data Breach
- Equifax Will Let All Consumers Lock Their Credit for Free, for Life
Featured image by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees