CLOSE
iStock
iStock

The Quick Way to Tell If You're Affected by the Equifax Breach

iStock
iStock

Data breach hacks have become a regular headline in recent years, as companies holding sensitive consumer information have struggled to fend off attacks from cyber-criminals. While you might be feeling indifferent about the latest—a breach of the credit monitoring firm Equifax—you should be aware that it's a particularly large e-heist, affecting nearly two-thirds of the country's population. Social security numbers and driver's license IDs were part of the haul, making identify theft a very real and looming threat for 143 million Americans.

To help consumers determine if their information was disclosed, Equifax has set up a website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. Users on the site can enter their name and the last six digits of their social security number and know immediately whether any personal data was breached. Equifax is also offering credit monitoring via TrustedID Premier, which can track suspicious or unauthorized activity on your credit report, provide ID theft insurance, and even scan the web for mentions of your social security number.

If your information was compromised, experts recommend taking two steps. First, consider freezing access to your credit profiles at the three major reporting bureaus—Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. That will prevent anyone (including you) from opening new accounts. Second, services like Lifelock can help walk you through remedies for any potential identity theft.

There's no easy solution for the breach, and consumers may be disheartened to hear that their exposed personal information could circulate on the black market for years to come. But monitoring your score and taking advantage of the resources offered by Equifax can help minimize the damage.

[h/t MarketWatch]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images
arrow
This Just In
What Do You Get the Person Who Has Everything? Perhaps a German Village for Less Than $150,000
TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images
TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images

Looking for a gift for the world traveler who has everything? If cost isn't an issue and they're longing for a quiet country home, Fortune reports that an entire village in East Germany is up for sale. The tiny hamlet of Alwine, in Germany's Brandenburg region, is going up for auction on Saturday, December 9. Opening bids begin at $147,230.

Alwine has around one dozen buildings and 20 full-time residents, most of them elderly. It was once owned by a neighboring coal plant, which shut down in 1991, soon after East Germany reunited with West Germany. Many residents left after that. Between 1990 and 2015, the regional population fell by 15 percent, according to The Local.


TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images

In 2000, a private investor purchased the decaying hamlet for just one Deutsche Mark (the currency used before the euro). But its decline continued, and now it's up for grabs once more—this time around, for a much-higher price.

Andreas Claus, the mayor of the district surrounding Alwine, wasn't informed of the village's sale until he heard about it in the news, according to The Local. While no local residents plan to purchase their hometown, Claus says he's open to fostering dialogue with the buyer, with hopes of eventually revitalizing the local community.

[h/t Fortune]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Guillaume Souvant, Getty Images
arrow
This Just In
For $61, You Can Become a Co-Owner of This 13th-Century French Castle
Guillaume Souvant, Getty Images
Guillaume Souvant, Getty Images

A cultural heritage restoration site recently invited people to buy a French castle for as little as $61. The only catch? You'll be co-owning it with thousands of other donors. Now thousands of shareholders are responsible for the fate of the Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers in western France, and there's still room for more people to participate.

According to Mashable, the dilapidated structure has a rich history. Since its construction in the 13th century, the castle has been invaded by foreign forces, looted, renovated, and devastated by a fire. Friends of Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers, a small foundation formed in 2016 in an effort to conserve the overgrown property, want to see the castle restored to its former glory.

Thanks to a crowdfunding collaboration with the cultural heritage restoration platform Dartagnans, the group is closer than ever to realizing its mission. More than 9000 web users have contributed €51 ($61) or more to the campaign to “adopt” Mothe-Chandeniers. Now that the original €500,000 goal has been fulfilled, the property’s new owners are responsible for deciding what to do with their purchase.

“We intend to create a dedicated platform that will allow each owner to monitor the progress of works, events, project proposals and build a real collaborative and participatory project,” the campaign page reads. “To make an abandoned ruin a collective work is the best way to protect it over time.”

Even though the initial goal has been met, Dartagnans will continue accepting funds for the project through December 25. Money collected between now and then will be used to pay for various fees related to the purchase of the site, and new donors will be added to the growing list of owners.

The shareholders will be among the first to see the cleared-out site during an initial visit next spring. The rest of the public will have to wait until it’s fully restored to see the final product.

[h/t Mashable]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER