Living with credit, Protecting yourself

Your SSN is probably on the dark web and other credit news to know this week

Taylor Tompkins

This week’s (un)lucky number is: 143 million

That’s how many Social Security numbers or people whose personal information could be floating around on the dark web after Equifax announced a data breach last Thursday, weeks after it happened. Oh, and let’s not forget the 209,000 credit cardholders who should probably keep an eye out for sketchy purchases. If you sat on the credit bureau’s help line until you just couldn’t take the elevator music for the 13th time or put even more of your personal info into Equifax’s site but still don’t know if you are affected, here are some things you can do to protect yourself. 

This week

These are the things to look forward to this week.

Playing games: If you already weren’t worried enough about your card or identity being stolen, let me fan the flames of hysteria. Your card could be stolen from somewhere you might not think about – your video games. So instead of breezily buying a game where you play as an octopus posing as a human, your card could be getting beaten by thieves. But don’t worry, check back on Tuesday and we have some ways you can save yourself and your Princess Peach-like card.

Old-time advice: It was Grandparents’ Day on Sunday and now that you’re an adult you have to find another way to celebrate than them coming to eat with you at your elementary school lunch table. So give them a call, and while you’re at it, take the credit card advice they give you.

Hurricanes hurt credit score:  People who were unprepared in the wake of Harvey or Irma could also take a hit to their credit score. According to a study released September 1, a category 1 hurricane can erode a credit score by more than 80 points.


What you might have missed last week.

House of cards: You may think you’re clever, applying for all of the biggest rewards cards. But you’re not. Issuers are on to you and they’re going to make sure you can’t reap too many sign-up rewards.

The credit doctor will see you now: Applying for all those credit cards isn’t good for your credit report, ya know? Here are 18 things you shouldn’t do if you want to keep that score healthy and 16 things you can get away with.

Tangled in the web

Here are things from around the internet that the staff are reading.

Following credit card fraud leads, apparently, to literal dogfights. –Wall Street Journal

Your corporate card is coming to the smartwatch nearest you. –


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