Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

9/22/2017

Money from Equifax

Filed under: Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Horse which is around lunchtime or 1:10 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Your credit information has likely been stolen.

As you’ve probably read in the news, or heard on telly, Equifax, one of the three largest U.S. credit bureaus, was hacked earlier this month, exposing over 143 million American’s personal information. And, trust me, no matter how bad it sounds, it is most assuredly worse than you think. What’s more, it seems like this breach was strictly due to negligence on the part of one of their system administrators, who didn’t keep up to date with patches on some of their backend software, leaving them vulnerable to the attack. But, unless you’re a professional geek like me, you probably don’t care about that. Rather, what you care about is what to do next.

Luckily, Consumer Reports has some suggestions on how to respond to the breach of your personal data, and they’re pretty good suggestions. Thankfully, since my wife and I recently refinanced our house to get out of most of our consumer debt, I have some credit monitoring already in place. If you don’t though, now is a good time to get that going. And, as always, it’s best to keep a close eye on your credit reports and bank accounts regularly. Breach or no breach, that’s just a good habit to get into these days. Identity theft is big business in the digital underworld. It’s unfortunately a “growth business”.

But, none of those are the links I’m really intent on sharing with you this week. No, this week, the very important link I have for you is via Boing Boing and it’s a chatbot that will help you sue Equifax for your loss of privacy and personal data. It’s not available for all states yet, just the ones that have class-action lawsuits filed already, but I’m sure more states will be “piling on”, as we used to say in Chicago, in the coming months. Also, the app is being hit pretty hard, as you can imagine with almost 45% of all U.S. Citizens potentially being effected by this breach. There are a lot of people that might be trying to use this chatbot!

So, hang in there and good luck! And, come back next week for something a little lighter to take your mind off the financial trouble of almost half the U.S.

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words.

2/18/2011

Free, Customized “Get Out Of Debt” Plan

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Deep Thoughts,Hoffman's Home for Wayward Boys,Life Goals,Life, the Universe, and Everything — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

I don’t make a big secret of my enormous debt.

It’s a problem.  I came by it honestly, for the most part.  I was almost debt-free when I lost my job in 2001.  I was freshly married to my girlfriend of several years and had to support her and her daughter, at least partially, in addition to myself.  I did it with credit cards.  I’m not proud of it, but, well, I did what I had to do.
Then, in 2005, I got divorced, which actually stemmed the bloody flow of money, or rather the swelling of debt.  Of course, I still had my house to deal with, which hasn’t been cheap, but I had started to get things under control again.  Then, of course, I got cancer, which brought all kinds of medical bills with it, even after insurance paid most of the bills.

I’m getting a handle on it, but it’s still not easy to do.  What would have helped me was a plan.  A good, solid plan that was laid out for me.  Now, thanks to Ready for Zero, linked via Lifehacker, you can get a plan to help you get out of debt, for free.  And, let’s face it, if you’re deeply in debt, like me, you can’t really afford to spend a lot of money on books and workshops to help you plan how to get out from under.  A free plan is priced just right.
Do yourself a favor and check it out, even if you’re not in debt yet.  Before it’s too late.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing."
   --Kingsley Amis


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