Some of you may already be aware of the massive data breach which hit Equifax. Some of you may not. You can read more about it here:
What is Equifax
It's a credit bureau. One of three major ones.
What is a credit bureau?
They track a lot of things about you. Things like your credit card accounts, how much credit you've used on your cards, your college and auto loans, your loans for a home. They have your social security number. They have your credit card numbers. They have your name, your addresses (everywhere you've lived), your birthdate, your mothers maiden name. They have everything about you.
They profit by selling this information to qualifying companies and by providing a 'credit score'. Most people know what a credit score is, and most people know what a credit report it. Credit reports come from a credit bureau.
They are not governmental organizations. They are for profit companies.
I'm not and have never been an Equifax customer so I am safe, right?
Wrong. You are not safe. You didn't consent to give them all of this personal information about you but they have it. Credit Card Companies, Banks, and other financial institutions use your credit score and credit report to figure out if you qualify for loans/credit/apartments and more. Your information was mined or provided to these credit bureaus without your knowledge or consent. Even minors are in their databases. You almost certainly are too.
WHAT THE FUCK
My sentiments exactly.
What do I do now?
Read the article above, Google around, figure out if you were affected (there is a website to check, but make sure you get there from a reputable source like cnn.com because people are already domain squatting on similar domain names), put a CREDIT FREEZE on your credit report with all 3 companies. It costs a small fee, depending on your location. It's a racket, but it's your best protection.
Tweet at your Senators and Representatives.
Understand that your social security number is probably in the wild. You can't be sure at this point, so it's best to assume it is and start taking precautions.
This is such a dystopian thing, I don't even know what to say. However, I would plead with all of you affected or not, to make your voices heard on social media and to any state/local representatives. They are probably affected too! Holding companies responsible for irresponsible practices is the only way we are going to change things.