Marina
19 September 2017 @ 08:39 pm
In light of the Equifax security breach announced on September 7th, I strongly recommend placing credit freezes on the following:
  • Equifax: https://www.freeze.equifax.com/Freeze/jsp/SFF_PersonalIDInfo.jsp (freeze is free until 11/21/2017)
    IMPORTANT: To anyone who had recently placed a security freeze on Equifax prior to 9/15/2017:
    If your PIN resembles this format, mmddyyhhmm, e.g. 0908172136 for September 8, 2017 at 9:36pm (i.e. time stamp of when you placed your freeze online), go online or call them right now and unfreeze it. Wait 15 minutes. You can then re-freeze online and get a totally randomly generated PIN that isn't of that previous format (EQ fixed their PINs to be much more secure).
  • Experian: https://www.experian.com/ncaconline/freeze (fees may apply; see below)
  • TransUnion: https://freeze.transunion.com/sf/securityFreeze/landingPage.jsp (fees may apply; see below)
  • Innovis: https://www.innovis.com/securityFreeze/index (FREE)
  • ChexSystems: https://www.chexsystems.com/web/chexsystems/consumerdebit/page/securityfreeze/placefreeze/ (FREE right now, though there's a PDF that says they reserve the right to charge the following fees)

    States I've been told you can freeze your EQ, EX, TU reports for FREE:
  • Colorado
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina.

    IMPORTANT: I believe these four states automatically unfreeze your credit reports after 7 years: Kentucky, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota.

    Credit freeze fees by state,
  • according to Equifax: https://help.equifax.com/servlet/fileField?entityId=ka137000000DSDyAAO&field=attachment__body__s (though placing a freeze is currently FREE from 9/07/2017 to 11/21/2017)
  • according to Experian: https://www.experian.com/news/security-freeze.html
  • according to TransUnion: https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze/credit-freeze-information-by-state
    Keep in mind fees could apply when thawing or lifting a freeze, and they vary by state.


    You should also pull all your credit reports (which you can do once every 12 months for FREE):
  • Equifax: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/
  • Experian: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/
  • TransUnion: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/
  • Innovis: https://www.innovis.com/creditReport/index
  • ChexSystems: https://www.chexsystems.com/web/chexsystems/consumerdebit/page/requestreports/consumerdisclosure/


    And opt out of pre-screened offers: https://www.optoutprescreen.com/


    You can also get a free monthly Experian credit report and Experian FICO Score 8: https://www.experian.com/consumer-products/free-credit-report.html
    Or an overview of your credit (not a full report) every month for free through Discover, which also includes your Experian FICO Score 8: https://www.creditscorecard.com/registration


    Credit card products that offer free FICO scores (from my personal experience):
  • If you have an American Express credit card, you can get your Experian FICO Score 8 every month for free.
  • If you have a Discover credit card or a Bank of America credit card, you can get your TransUnion FICO Score 8 every month for free.
  • If you have a Citi credit card, you can get your Equifax FICO Bankcard Score 8 every month for free (note: this is a different scoring model than the FICO Score 8).


    More on different FICO Score models here: http://www.myfico.com/credit-education/credit-score-versions/
    VantageScore model(s): https://your.vantagescore.com/interpret_scores



    Disclaimer: Any resources I've listed here are ones that I have personally utilized and verified. If you would like to add any other suggestions, feel free to do so in the comments.
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    bedlamsbard
    13 September 2017 @ 02:13 pm
     
    We came through Tropical Storm Irma all right -- Housemate R and I are both fine, the house is fine, the property is fine. While we're right by a creek, it didn't overflow its banks despite rising pretty precipitously, which is the thing I was really worried about. (The house itself is up quite a ways from a creek, but if it had flooded there's a good chance it would have gotten the basement and maybe the carport; R moved her car to higher ground before the storm really got going.)

    We did end up losing power on Monday afternoon, and as of now (Wednesday afternoon) it still hasn't been restored. Here's hoping that it's up by the time I get back from campus today -- Emory cancelled Monday and Tuesday, but is open today. At least...at least I have a good explanation for why I don't have my readings for class done? Since they're all on my laptop. This is why we don't have power. GDOT took the tree down yesterday afternoon/evening; Housemate R went up to check the situation out this morning (it's just up the street from us, about a five minute walk) and said that Georgia Power is working on it, and since there's an elementary school, a senior center, and a major intersection right there we're hopeful that it will be resolved today. (The City of Decatur said that getting power back to the elementary schools is one of their priorities for the day, so here's hoping -- apparently all the schools in the city except the high school had no power as of last night.)

    This is the third time a tropical depression, tropical storm, or hurricane has blown through within the first couple weeks of school for me -- Gustav when I was a freshman, a tropical depression when I was a senior (I think that was only a depression, not a storm), and now Irma in grad school. Apparently Atlanta's first ever tropical storm, just my luck. Leave New Orleans, get a hurricane anyway...

    We still have water and gas, which means we even have hot water and I was able to take a shower by candlelight last night. So things could be worse, but I would really like power back.
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    bedlamsbard
    09 September 2017 @ 09:51 pm
     
    Huh, so I haven't posted in like...a while.

    1. I am in Georgia! I moved last month. So far Atlanta is mostly driving me crazy with its lack of a grid system, whose bright idea was that? Emory's campus is the same way, and both are really frustrating to me because while I have a very spatial memory, I didn't realize until now how dependent I am on being able to orient myself, which I just...can't do here. It's basically impossible for me to orient myself anywhere in Atlanta or on campus, or in Decatur, which is where I'm living now. So I get lost very easily. I'm pretty sure Emory is built on a fold in the space/time continuum or into a fairy hill or something, it would explain a few things.

    2. School is fine; we're on week 3 (more or less; due to Labor Day I've only had my Monday class once) and unfortunately I have two 4:30-7:30 seminars and one 1:00-4:00 seminar, and those late afternoon classes are killing me. In some ways it's preferable to having morning classes; on the other hand, they wipe me out for the rest of the evening. Three seminars is also a lot; I've had seminars before but always mixed in with lectures, never just seminars. Well, Leicester was seminars, but they were two hours and there were only two of them a semester, not three.

    3. The housemate situation is good, if occasionally disorienting because living with new people is always An Experience. But so far she's very sweet and I like her a lot.

    4. I went to Dragon Con last Saturday, just for the day, which was an interesting experience -- my first non-Star Wars Celebration con. I was in the vendors' hall the whole time, since I thought about it and I thought about it and eventually decided against going to any of the Star Wars panels. (I thought about going up Friday too since that was when most of the SW stuff was, and decided not to.) But it was fun, and -- and it was such a relief being in a fannish space and knowing I wasn't going to turn a corner and see my ex, since she's in England. Just an enormous relief. Also I bought a lot of things, since, see again, spent the entire day in the vendors' hall. (Also I discovered the Peachtree street problem in downtown Atlanta is real; who put Peachtree Street and Peachtree Center Avenue NEXT TO EACH OTHER?)

    5. I am in High Panic Mode because Atlanta's in Irma's path, though presumably by the time it gets here it will have downgraded to a tropical storm or depression. But I don't like not knowing how to react; Atlanta is a bit less blase about hurricanes than New Orleans, and not being in university housing for the first time in my student life means that I don't have the reassurance of knowing that the university is looking out for me, either. The discrepancy between the news going DEATH DOOM DESPAIR (and people buying up water in the grocery stores) and Emory going "yeah, whatever, we're keeping an eye on it but you still have class on Monday" is really throwing me. I HAVE TO DO HOMEWORK? I'VE SCHEDULED THIS TIME FOR PANIC! And then I feel guilty about it because it's not like I'm in Florida or Texas or any of the islands that got hit a few days ago, and if/when Irma reaches northern Georgia it'll just be rain and wind. (With a high likelihood of a power outage, as my significantly-calmer-than-me housemate informs me, so I had to confess to her that power outages make me flip out pretty badly. But the fact that she's pretty calm is helping with the fact that I am, uh, a nervous wreck.)
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