A massive security breach hit the Equifax website recently, to the tune of at least 40% of Americans getting their personal information hacked, including bank account information, credit card numbers and social security numbers.

Class action lawsuits have been filed, according to USA Today, and websites have been set up to help you determine if you're a victim. Everyone is panicking. But should they be?

Don't we hear all the time the same rules to protect your information? Don't give out your social security number in any context or any personal information over the phone. Don't use the same password across too many sites, make sure change your passwords often, and so on. Check your credit report often (although obviously, that might now be significantly less trustworthy now that one of the credit bureaus themselves got compromised. By the way, who died and made them the Gods of our security and information?)

Most of us do all this, yet still the fraud occurs. So why sweat it?

The chances are slim of your identity actually getting stolen, and in my case, you won't get very far if you try! I own nothing and am broke. I get it. That's easy to say for someone it's never happened to. Except it has. Sort of.

Twitter asked me to add my phone number to my account for "added security". Anyone else see the irony in requesting MORE personal information to increase security? I declined that request.

I was also a victim during the ATM skimmer epidemic last year, which seems to be picking back up a little bit. (You see? Even when you think it's caught, it isn't). I caught it right away, contacted my bank, and within three days the fraudulent charges were reversed, but I had to wait ten days for a new debit card. I KNOW, I shouldn't be relying on it so much to begin with. But it's so convenient, and I still do. A lot of banks will give you an even quicker turnaround on that. Use your credit card instead and you'll certainly have an even easier time clearing up problems.

You know you're doing the right thing when these problems occur, so keep doing it. Trust yourself, your financial institutions (and if you can't, maybe you ought to dump them), and just chill.


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