Equifax advised that the security breach was discovered on July 29 of this year, and the exposed data included confidential and personal information examples include names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, addresses, credit card numbers and driver’s license numbers. Your identity is everything in this day and age, so having your name, address and other important information in the hands of a criminal mind puts you and your financial future in a vulnerable position. We are urging everyone to check and double check your bank accounts, credit accounts, and any account that could fall prey to the information gathered through this data breach. Do not have an ‘it couldn’t happen to me’ attitude. It can happen to anyone who doesn’t take steps to protect themselves.
A credit privacy number, or CPN, is a nine-digit ID that can be used in lieu of a Social Security number for credit reporting and other financial purposes, like applying for a loan. Like an SSN, each person can only have one CPN. It’s used as a unique identifier for your financial transactions and lets lenders and credit reporting agencies keep an eye on your borrowing history. However, a CPN can help you keep your finances safe and hidden from the public eye. For that reason, it’s popular among elected officials, celebrities and people in witness protection programs. As the name implies, it’s mostly used by people who need a little extra privacy. A CPN isn’t always a substitute for an SSN, though: You can’t use it for documents submitted to the IRS or an employer, registering a vehicle or applying for a government loan, for instance. If you have a CPN, it’s on you to know when you can and can’t use it.