Privacy seems to be a scarce commodity. How often are we told about security breaches that expose our personal information to bad actors? It seems like it happens almost every day.
LastPass is the password security app. Twitter, Chick-fil A and Chick-fil A have all had security breaches in recent weeks.
Even if you win a multi-billion dollar lottery, anonymity is not allowed in some states. Privacy is not something you can buy.
Big money = little privacy
Let’s suppose you have just won a billion-dollar lottery. Everyone must know. Yes, it’s natural to want to tell your friends and family about the great news (yes?). What about the rest of the world? Yikes.
You can’t claim the jackpot anonymously in most states.
Each state has its own laws that govern the rules. Only about 12 states permit you to remain anonymous, even though the landscape is constantly changing. Arizona, Georgia, Kansas and Maryland allow you to keep the big news private.
For big winners, almost every state requires an identity reveal. California state law requires that winners must disclose their full names and the place they purchased tickets. This may explain why the $2 billion Powerball ticket winner in November is still not coming forward.
You may be able to establish a trust in order to receive the payment from certain states.
If you win the lottery, make sure you check your state laws. You might have to disguise yourself and change your name once you cash in. You could also use the cash to move to Pitcairn Island, South Pacific. The island is said to be the most remote area in the world and only 50 people live there. However, high-speed internet access is available.
You will need to bring all your family, friends and food. But, hey Big Winner, cost does not matter .
All credit reports for
OK, so that’s the fun dream-of-winning-the-lottery privacy angle. Your credit score is a much more important privacy concern.
Recently, Experian’s website was hacked. Experian is one of three major credit reporting agencies. Brian Krebs, a blogger and computer security reporter, claims that identity thieves were retrieving credit reports from an unknown number of consumers.
A glitch apparently allowed anyone to bypass security and gain access to a consumer’s report. It was easy to access a consumer’s report by simply entering the name, address and birthday of the person. These items are often sold on dark-web sites for a fee.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau published this month a study of almost half a million consumer complaints about credit reporting bureaus. This includes Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Rohit Chopra, Director of CFPB, stated that credit bureaus are “routinely the top list of complaints submitted from consumers”, but the report also highlighted improvements in how complaints are handled and the frequency with which relief is provided.
According to the bureau, credit reporting agencies should continue working to ensure compliance with consumer financial protection laws. Chopra said that new rules will be explored to ensure they follow the law and not cut corners to make a profit.
The CFPB reported last year that credit reporting agencies had “often permitted their processes to be used in order to coerce individuals into paying medical bills they may never owe.” ”
According to the CFPB, credit scores fell once medical bills were submitted to credit reporting agencies and placed in collections. Collectors could use the lower scores against individuals to forcibly pay them. Some people became so frustrated they paid the money, regardless of whether it was owed. They wanted to end the collection process and protect their credit score from further damage.
Credit bureaus will cease reporting collections of medical debt under $500 this year. Credit scoring models are being modified to reduce credit score impacts from unpaid medical debt.
Credit reports – False junk data
Krebs, security reporter for Experian, stated that he discovered his credit report was filled with “so many mistakes that it’s likely going to take quite a lot of effort on my side to correct them.” ”
The CFPB made an October statement and noted that there was a lot of junk data in consumer credit reports. One example was the claim that someone had defaulted on a loan before their birth. ”
You might want to: Keep in mind recent security breaches and hacks.
Change the master password in your password management app or get one if none is available. Also, change the passwords for any financial websites that you access.
Request your credit file from annualcreditreport.com, the government website that allows you to access your three credit reports for free. Find errors and report them to the appropriate bureau.