News about a website that has put on line huge amounts of personal information about 23 famous politicians, celebrities and sports figures including, Beyonce, Vice President Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Hulk Hogan, Attorney General Eric Holder, Kim Kardashian, FBI Director Robert Mueller, Michelle Obama, Sarah Palin, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Donald Trump and Tiger Woods has been everywhere. What happened was that hackers were able to hack into the website www.annualcreditreport.com and get access to the credit reports of each of these people which contained large amounts of personal information that in the hand of an identity thief could bring serious harm to the people whose information was accessed. Instead of quietly using this information to victimize these people,these particular hackers chose to make all of the information public and put these people in serious jeopardy. But what does this mean to you? It is another example of how you are only as safe as the place storing your information with the weakest security. In this case, an obvious flaw in the verification process permitted the hacker to pose as each of the victims and get their no longer private information.
Getting access to the Social Security number of each of the victims was an important first step in the hacking. The Social Security number is a key to identity theft and it is something that you should try to keep private, as much as possible. There are plenty of ways that a determined hacker can get a Social Security number, but don’t make it easy for them. Don’t provide it to places that do not need it and do not carry your Social Security card in your wallet or purse.