Credit Freeze? One last step I'm taking

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LeeMKE
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Credit Freeze? One last step I'm taking

Post by LeeMKE » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:53 pm

After freezing our credit bureau accounts, I scanned the letters with the pins/passwords and put the PDF files in an electronic vault (FidSafe is the one I'm using). I'll be able to access the codes I need from anywhere with an internet connection (and connectivity is required to unlock a frozen account).

A PDF is an image file and is more difficult to scan into a datafile without human intervention. And almost impossible if you wrote the login and pass by hand (at least with my handwriting!).

Just like the guy stopping to put on his running shoes when a bear is approaching, you don't have to be faster than the bear, just faster than the other guy. If you require human intervention to break into your file, you are harder to break than the next guy who jotted down the login and passwords in a text file, or other easy method for hackers.

Too bad it is currently easy to reset the PIN with some of the bureaus, but I'll bet that changes within the week.

FWIW.
The mightiest Oak is just a nut who stayed the course.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Credit Freeze? One last step I'm taking

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:41 am

Call me paranoid but I'm not putting my PIN numbers out on the internet with a third party service. I know FidSafe claims to secure data at rest as well as data in flight - but after Equifax - I'm not very trusting. Perhaps at some point I'll look further into it (e.g. how they secure the private keys, etc.).
(EDIT ADD: Didn't mean to sound so negative - thanks for the suggestion. When time allows I will look more into FidSafe.)

mhalley
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Re: Credit Freeze? One last step I'm taking

Post by mhalley » Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:00 am

I don't think I am going to be out and about and decide impulsively to take out a new line of credit. I will access my home safe to get my pins and not put them out on the internet. No: "Honey, guess what new car I bought on impulse today !" for me.
As to resetting the pins online, I discovered that I could not do that online with my wife's ssn as I had failed the online freeze application with her. Perhaps that would be one way to add security: go online to the reset pin site and deliberately put in wrong info so that it breaks it and requires a snail mail identity verification to reset pin.

investor4life
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Re: Credit Freeze? One last step I'm taking

Post by investor4life » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:19 am

FidSafe sounds interesting. However, buried in FidSafe's Terms of Service is the following:

"Examples of “legal process” include but are not limited to a subpoena, warrant, government request for information, forfeiture, or seizure, injunction, or restraining order. You generally will not be notified of the receipt of, or response to, such legal process unless required by law. You understand that copies of your Content (excluding passwords), associated communications and our audit logs may be reviewed and produced in response to legal process. XTRAC and/or our third-party service providers reserve the right, but do not assume the obligation, to investigate any issues related to your use of FidSafe and to report such issues to the authorities."

So copies of your Content (i.e., what you upload) will be subject to review under the appropriate legal circumstances. The Content is supposed to be encrypted when "at rest", so either this means that they will review encrypted gobbledygook (which will be of no help to them anyway) or there is a means for them to decrypt your Content.

That does not sound reassuring. One way around is to upload to FidSafe a pre-encrypted file (or container of files).

Emily1980
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Re: Credit Freeze? One last step I'm taking

Post by Emily1980 » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:21 am

What's the danger of the Equifax hack for accounts like Vanguard? I checked the Equifax security website, and both my and my husband's information has been compromised. Obviously it would be annoying for someone to buy a television with our credit card, or attempt to take out a mortgage in our name. We've had credit monitoring for over a decade, though, so we would know relatively quickly. I'm far more concerned about losing our actual investments than I am about the comparably minor nuisance of credit card fraud. Or is the danger that we'll have to pay the mortgage we never took and that's how we'll lose our actual investments?

Just not sure how concerned about this stuff I should be. 143 million people is a lot.

rkhusky
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Re: Credit Freeze? One last step I'm taking

Post by rkhusky » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:46 am

LeeMKE wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:53 pm
A PDF is an image file and is more difficult to scan into a datafile without human intervention. And almost impossible if you wrote the login and pass by hand (at least with my handwriting!).
Google searches often return pdf files and you can view the text via their cache, so I imagine their OCR works pretty well. But you may be right in that if you wrote by hand in a weird style and at an angle, it would be more difficult than typed text. But I'm also reminded of the captcha images and how weird their letters are in order to differentiate between robots and humans.

rkhusky
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Re: Credit Freeze? One last step I'm taking

Post by rkhusky » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:52 am

Emily1980 wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:21 am
I checked the Equifax security website, and both my and my husband's information has been compromised.
A co-worker a few days ago entered a bogus name and SS and the site said that he had been compromised. Perhaps everyone has been compromised and so the answer is really true no matter what you enter.

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Ice-9
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Re: Credit Freeze? One last step I'm taking

Post by Ice-9 » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:42 pm

Did the same thing with my freeze information, except instead of FidSafe I used a VeraCrypt encrpted container saved to Dropbox.

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dollar_elbow
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Re: Credit Freeze? One last step I'm taking

Post by dollar_elbow » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:57 pm

Emily1980 wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:21 am
What's the danger of the Equifax hack for accounts like Vanguard? I checked the Equifax security website, and both my and my husband's information has been compromised. Obviously it would be annoying for someone to buy a television with our credit card, or attempt to take out a mortgage in our name. We've had credit monitoring for over a decade, though, so we would know relatively quickly. I'm far more concerned about losing our actual investments than I am about the comparably minor nuisance of credit card fraud. Or is the danger that we'll have to pay the mortgage we never took and that's how we'll lose our actual investments?

Just not sure how concerned about this stuff I should be. 143 million people is a lot.
I always thought Vanguard was relatively safe, because everything is deliberately slow with them. If someone tried to add a bank account to withdraw money from your account, it takes days for this process and Vanguard mails and emails you a letter telling you a new account has been added so there is ample time to fix issues like that.

Even if someone got your SSN or credit reports etc, they do not list which brokerages you use nor what your login details are so a criminal would also have to go to the trouble of figuring out where you keep your money too which seems like a lot of effort, so I think your accounts are pretty safe.

takeshi
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Re: Credit Freeze? One last step I'm taking

Post by takeshi » Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:30 pm

LeeMKE wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:53 pm
A PDF is an image file
Not relevant to your files but just pointing out that a PDF can be image only or image & text.

LeeMKE
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Re: Credit Freeze? One last step I'm taking

Post by LeeMKE » Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:48 pm

What's the danger of the Equifax hack for accounts like Vanguard?
Low, but not zero.

We have yet to see theft from online brokerage firms, at least not that we know of. But hackers try to break banks and brokerage firms daily. The financial industry agreed to a standard that actually is a mirror of the real thing online. In other words, you aren't actually working in your own account when you make changes. There is a gap, an airwall if you like, between your clicks and the actual execution of your clicks. This slows down a possible penetration.

IMHO the greatest threat is that a site might be taken offline, and it would take some time to get things back ready for online customer access.

With my luck, a website crash would happen just as I'm about to take a withdrawal. So, I keep some money at another firm, in hopes that such an incident won't take both offline at the same time, and I can reach assets while things get repaired at my main site.
The mightiest Oak is just a nut who stayed the course.

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