Cyberattack on Equifax could affect 143 million customers

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There's a good chance you've heard of Equifax, one of the three largest credit reporting agencies in the US, but did you know that they were hacked this summer? News of the hack, which occurred in July, broke this week. The hack compromises up to 143 million Americans' sensitive information, including Social Security and drivers license numbers. 

The credit-reporting agency is one of three major firms, including TransUnion and Experian, that monitor the financial health of consumers and supply data to customers to help them decide wether to give or recieve a loan. The attack on Equifax is one of the largest risks to personal information in several years, and the third to hit Equifax since 2015. The company says that it discovered the attack on July 29, and has not seen any further threats since, but that one hack was enough to put millions of Americans' information at risk. 

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Interestingly, major players at Equifax sold their shares in the company on August 1, the day after they were made aware of the breach. The CFO and other top people sold over $1 million worth of stock in Equifax before news of the hack reached the public. 

The Equifax hack is arguably scarier and more wide-reaching than other big data breaches over the past few years because so much sensitive information about customers, including Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and drivers licenses were taken. 

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Here's how to see if you were affected by the hack, and how to keep yourself safe from future hacks. If you are an Equifax customer, you can go to  http://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/ to see if your information is safe. Equifax is also offering a free year of credit protection service to people who register by November 21, whether you were affected by the hack or not. While there is no way to recover all the stolen information at this point, Equifax is working to ensure that similar hacks do not happen again. 

With banking and credit cards moving online, do the risks of hacking outweigh the convenience banking technology offers? 

From Samsung Galaxy Note 8 to smart watches, here's everything you need to know about this fall's tech releases

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Overwhelmed by all the new tech coming out this fall? It seems every major tech comapny releases their new stuff at the same time, how can you choose? Here is my guide for the top tech of Fall 2017. From Apple's 10th anniversary almost gaurenteeing some cutting-edge innovations with the new Apple Watch and iPhone 8 to Samsung's new releases, here is everything you need to know.  

As Samsung tries to come back after the explosive Galaxy Note 7, all eyes are on their new releases for Spetember. For Samsung fans, the biggest decision will be whether to get the new Note 8 or turn to Samsung’s other top flagship, the Galaxy S8. Samsung brand-new phones may look a lot similar, but what makes them different from each other?

The Galaxy Note 8 has a similar design to the S8 Plus, but has a wider display to accomodate the S Pen, which is back for this new model. One major difference between the two is that the Note 8 has a dual rear camera, and the S8 does not. After the disaster with the Note 7 batteries exploding, the batteries in the new models are smaller, and have undergone extensive testing. We all know Samsung is famous for its long battery life, and these phones don't disappoint - though the batteries are smaller than past models, they will actually have more stamina than older Samsung phones. 

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So how much do these new phones cost? Take a deep breath and get ready, because the Galaxy Note 8 will cost $930, and the S8 is $720! But have no fear, this is the price straight from Samsung, so pricing will differ based on retailers and whether you have an upgrade the fall. 

BONUS! Samsung isn't just releasing new phones this fall, they're also coming out with their new sportwatch, the Gear Fit 2 Pro. The new watch can withstand water up to 50 meters and has offlince Spotify playback, but it does not have GPS or wifi built in like its counterpart, the Samsung Gear Sport & Fitness Tracker. There is also a new model of the Sport and Fitness Tracker coming out this fall, with the capability to use Samsung Pay right from your wrist! 

Whether you're on the market for a new phone, or just want to up your wearable game, Samsung is releasing a ton of new gadgets for this fall. What do you think - is it time to make the switch from Apple to Samsung - or have you already done it? 

Are predators targeting your kids on social media?

You may have heard of the creative video social network called musical.ly. You’ve probably even sang along or created a short video on the app, but its all fun and games until your child’s safety is at risk. Most recently, there was an event where a pedophile had reached out to a 7-year-old girl on the creative, musical app, posing as a 9-year-old girl and asking this child to send nude photos of herself. Awful, right? Incidents like this happen every day, and with our children on these various social media platforms, it’s important to teach them how to be safe online. If you want to learn more, check out the segment on Fox 11 Los Angeles news to hear safety advice on the social media your kids are using. How do you keep your children safe online? 

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Here is what you need to know about how to avoid online threats: 

  1. We know, parenting in the digital age can be hard, but parents need to take an active role in their children’s internet experience and start a conversation about the different apps they’re involved with. Ask them if they know where the privacy settings are. Filter any private information on their profile, including school logos, last names, phone numbers, or anything identifying their location.
  2. Make sure your children only allow their friends to see their accounts. Although it may be cooler to have more followers, it’s important to know who each of your followers are, as some may pretend to be someone they’re not. 
  3. If someone is posting inappropriate comments on your child’s picture, cyberbullying, or simply doing something they don’t like, show your kids where the “block” and “report” features are.
  4. Other parental controls include knowing your children’s passwords to their accounts and checking their social media regularly. Unfortunately, 1 in 4 children have seen porn by the age of 12, so it’s important to check internet history logins as well.

Please leave a comment below if there is a specific app that you would like to know more about and how to navigate the privacy settings.