The Equifax Breach – How to Protect Yourself

*****************ALERT*****************

A major data breach has occurred within the credit bureau Equifax, the result of a intricate hack. Multiple reports from various news outlets indicate that at least 40% of Americans may have been affected by this breach, with hackers potentially having stolen 143,000,000 social security numbers, phone numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver’s licenses, and credit card numbers. Consumers in UK and Canada are also said to have had their data stolen, including the theft of credit card numbers for 209,000 consumers, as well as documents with personal information used in disputes for 182,000 consumers. The hack is said to have occurred between May 2017 and July 2017. Equifax discovered the hack on July 29th, but did not go public with this information until FIVE WEEKS later, on 9/7/2017. Therefore it is important that consumers act on this alert ASAP.

HOW TO FIND OUT IF YOU WERE AFFECTED: Do NOT follow any third party link to Equifax’s website you may come across online. Go directly to Equifax’s website by typing the URL into your browser.  Ideally, you should use a secure, personal computer network, not your cellular phone. Click on the top banner on the lead page of Equifax’s website and follow the prompts. Before entering in any personal information into the website, be sure to close out all browser tabs and clear your history and cache completely.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU WERE AFFECTED: After entering some light personal information into Equifax’s website, a pop up message will appear. If the message states that you were potentially affected, call all 3 credit bureaus immediately and freeze your credit until Equifax can provide consumers with more information on the breach. You can also freeze your credit online by visiting all 3 credit bureaus’ websites and utilizing their online tools. The fee is $10 to freeze your credit on each reporting agency (a total of $30). The freeze takes effect immediately, lasts up to 7 years, and can be lifted whenever you choose. While there is an additional $10 fee (a total of $30) to unfreeze your credit, it’s worth it for your peace of mind. You can also find a credit monitoring agency and sign up for at least one year’s worth of monitoring. Do not click on links sent to you via email that claim to be from Equifax, as these could be phishing links. Equifax will send you paper mail if you have been affected by the breach. Change your passwords and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible to prevent your accounts from being hijacked by hackers. Check your credit card and bank accounts, as well as other financial accounts to verify all transactions. (These suggestions came from a friend of mine who is head of security at a major corporation.)

WHAT **NOT** TO DO: Do NOT enroll in Equifax’s TrustedID, even though they offer this option free for one year. This will waive your rights to sue Equifax in a court of law or participate in any class action lawsuits that may arise in addressing any personal damage you may incur or may have already incurred as a result of this breach. (Your forfeiture of your rights is made clear in the fine print should you accept Equifax’s offer for free credit monitoring through TrustedID.) Find another credit monitoring agency separate from Equifax if you feel so inclined to double up on your credit protection.

At present, Equifax is dodging all questions posed by consumers and news outlets, likely in an attempt to minimize the brutal legal ramifications that are sure to come as a result of their incompetence. (I smell at least one class-action lawsuit in the works!) Not only due to Equifax’s negligence and failure to report this breach to consumers in a timely fashion, but also in response to news reports suggesting that 3 top executives from Equifax sold stock they held in the company mere days after Equifax discovered the breach! Don’t wait for your livelihood to be compromised or destroyed before acting on this alert! Be proactive and protect yourself as best as you can.

Good luck and God bless!
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Untitled – A Boundless Magick Novel (Book #3)

This book is currently in progress. A title will be added once the book is complete. Look for a teaser chapter soon!


The Masked Heir

TheMaskedHeir_LowveeCole

In her first brush with the social season, Lady Catherine Fairchild strives to secure the three most sought after desires of a single Victorian woman: a husband with a grand title, infinite riches, and a steady stream of invitations to London society’s elite gatherings. But when her loving father appoints Miss Emelia Charpentier, a bastard French woman of little standing, as her chaperone, Catherine’s hopes for her future falter. Emelia may present herself as an upstanding young woman both in speech and appearance, but the whole of London is awash with rumors of her late night dalliances with strange men in dark alleys. What respectable man will associate with, let alone marry, Catherine while she keeps such unsavory company?

As she struggles to unearth her father’s motivation behind Emelia’s privileged position, Catherine inches ever closer to discovering her own family’s transgressions. Soon, she finds herself at the heart of a decades’ old vendetta, immersed in a startling game of deception that will shatter everything she believes about her family, herself, and her own ambitions, transforming the Fairchild legacy forever.

Order your copy today at Amazon.com!

Product details

  • File Size: 1009 KB
  • Print Length: 255 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Lowvee Cole (September 23, 2015)
  • Publication Date: September 23, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B015RL1SW0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
    Not Enabled
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

The Hopi Mask – A Boundless Magick Novel (Book 2)

HopiMask_LowveeCole

Strange visions plague Abigail Stone when she joins her best friend on the Hopi reservation so that he can reconnect with his Native American roots. Though she considers the content of her visions trivial, she finds their triggers downright alarming: mysterious voices call her spirit into action, over which she has no control. To complicate matters, Abigail returns to Adehya to discover that Nikolas has renounced his duties as her tutor and protector in favor of his obligations to the Council. He leaves Abigail in the care of the philandering Duke Sebastian, who, to Abigail’s dismay, shows more interest in bedding her than ensuring her safety and training her to be an expert witch. As Abigail’s personal life spirals out of control–to the extent she faces shocking accusations of infidelity and threats of exile to Block Island–rumors abound that Nikolas has been secretly courting a stunning Egyptian princess. Harrowing as Abigail’s trials may be, she’s not at all prepared for how they add up and where they will lead her…

Order your copy today at Amazon.com!

Product details

  • Series: Boundless Magick
  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 23, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1523472235
  • ISBN-13: 978-1523472239
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Oven Baked Chicken

Baked-Fried-Chicken

Ingredients:

4 Boneless Chicken Breasts, trimmed split from end to end, and quartered

1 Cup Flour

1 Tablespoon of Seasoned Salt

3/4 Teaspoon Pepper

2 Teaspoons Paprika

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1 Cup of Milk

2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice

5 Tablespoons of Butter

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Slice up butter on large cookie sheet and put in oven to melt. Meanwhile, mix milk and lemon juice together and soak sliced chicken in it.

2. Mix together flour, salt, seasoned salt, pepper, and paprika in a large bowl.

3. Pull cookie sheet with melted butter on it out of the oven and set on stovetop or someplace heat safe.

4. Pull chicken out of milk, piece by piece, and coat evenly with seasoning mixture and place it on the cookie sheet.

5. Return buttered cookie sheet to oven and bake chicken for a few minutes on each side until cooked through. The thinner your chicken slices the quicker they will cook!

6. Enjoy


Slow Cooker Chili

Spicy Slow Cooker Beef Chili

I found this recipe online, but made a few tweaks, which are reflected in the recipe below:

Tips:

1. Never drain and rinse your kidney beans before adding them to your chili, it takes away the flavor. Plus, you’ll need the added moisture in your slow cooker as chili cooks.

2. I pureed the onion, and cooked the beef until most of it was brown, leaving a little pink for the crock pot to cook off.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 small yellow onions, pureed
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 1/2 pounds 80% lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained

For serving:

  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Thinly sliced scallions
  • Sour cream
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, chili powder, dash of cayenne pepper, and cumin, stir to coat the vegetables, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the ground beef and measured salt and cook, breaking the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until the beef is no longer pink, about 7 minutes.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker, add the diced tomatoes and their juices, tomato sauce, and beans, and stir to combine. Cover and cook until the chili thickens and the flavors meld, about 8 hours on low or 6 hours on high.
  4. Stir in the green chiles. Taste and season with salt as needed, and serve with the cheese, scallions, and sour cream.

Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup

Image*I found this recipe on Food.com, but made a few of my own adjustments. It’s simple and DELICIOUS!

Ingredients:

1 5lb Bag of Russet Potatoes

1 Medium Onion, Pureed

32 Ounces of Chicken Broth

3 Minced Garlic Cloves

1/4 Cup Butter

2 1/2 Teaspoons of Salt

1 1/4 Teaspoons of Pepper

I Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

1 Heaping Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1/4 Cup of Chopped Scallions

1/2 Pound of Bacon, Chopped and Fried

Cheese for Sprinkling

Equipment:

CrockPot

Measuring Spoons

Measuring Cups

Frying Pan

Directions:

1. Combine first seven ingredients in a large crock pot; cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.

2. Mash mixture until potatoes are coarsely chopped and soupy is slightly thickened.

3. Stir in cream, cheese and scallions.

4. Chop up raw bacon into small pieces, then pan fry until cooked through.

5.Top soup with cooked bacon and more cheese.

6. Enjoy!


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