The Equifax hacking story got personal when I got a letter from the credit reporting company telling me I was one of the potentially impacted 145.5 million consumers. This is serious business. My Social Security number and other personal information could be in possession of the hackers.
The best defense, I'm told, is to freeze your accounts with Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit reporting companies. I had already done that a few years ago with at least one, but I'm not sure I did it with all three. So, I spent a few hours jumping through all the hoops necessary to send the letters via Certified Mail.
Equifax advised me to get a free copy of my credit report from all three companies to check for incidents of fraud and identity theft. That can be done online, or by a telephone call, or by U.S. mail. I tried it online and was told I couldn't, but I could by mail. I had to download a request form, fill it out and mail it.
If I am a victim of identity theft, I am advised to contact local law enforcement, the state attorney general and the Federal Trade Commission. They should also advise me to contact a grief counselor
Never miss a local story.
This is all being investigated by Congress. How did it happen? Who is to blame? Did three top Equifax executives engage in insider trading when, according to news reports, they sold over a million dollars worth of stocks before the public was told about the data breach? The company says the executives didn't know about the hack at that time. What can be done to prevent this from happening again?
A U.S. Senate committee is holding a hearing on this issue, and 145 million of us ... well ... should be interested.
Dick McMichael, Columbus
I'm looking at Page 45 of the November edition of Army magazine. Pictured are two elderly veterans of Gettysburg. They are holding hands. Strangely, one old veteran is wearing Union Blue, his friend wears Gray.
The occasion was the 50-year anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.
I envy these men their ability to forget the past, and move on into the future. One wonders why after over 150 years, we insist on encouraging those who would divide us.
We are at war. It appears that we will be for some time. Yet we continue to fight each other.
My family fights among ourselves, but if you attack one of us, the entire family will turn on you.
I grieve for our Republic.
Sam Nelson, Columbus
Regime of fear
John Greenman’s article was appalling, denigrating our President and his trip to South Korea. He says South Koreans fear Trump, thinking him “a little bit nuts,” more than North Korea. This week their only interest is a “massive, 7-day party for people in the fashion industry.” They don’t fear North Korea nor think often of the soldiers keeping watch to protect them.
Yet their fashions, like their popular music, are strictly forbidden in North Korea. The Internet (except for the government’s propaganda-filled “Intranet”) is forbidden, punished with imprisonment and torture.
The 2017 Human Rights Watch states that North Korea is “one of the most repressive, authoritarian states in the world,” generating fearful obedience by public executions, arbitrary detention, forced labor, tight travel regulations, and harsh persecutions for those trying to escape. Even contact with religion is forbidden. UN officials state that today there are between 86,000 and 120,000 people in political prison camps.
A few facts:
1) Korea’s freedom from Japanese rule was a result of WW II;
2) The Korean people became two ideologically separated countries after the Soviet Union took control of the north.
3) The UN worked for elections and a free government; North Korea refused to take part.
4) 1950: 135,000 North Koreans, aided by China and Russia, invaded South Korea, starting the Korean War.
5) President Truman directed General McArthur to assist the South; 57 countries helped.
6) 54,246 Americans died in that War, and 7,747 Americans are still unaccounted for;
7) Technically, the Korean War has never ended, as the North has never agreed to any peace treaty.
Today the North suffers crippling poverty, few opportunities and a scarcity of food. The “fear” of the South should be directed to the North, not to America.
Dorothy Thompson Doyle, Pine Mountain
Is this progress?
It really is strange when one stops to consider the evolution, purpose and meaning of public housing. At its inception public housing was intended to serve as a temporary living alternative for families having come upon difficult and trying economic times.
Today, with its lavish amenities to include stainless steel appliances, maintained, serviced and replaced as needed by the Housing Authority, along with exercise facilities, it is being interpreted as a source of permanent housing. Gosh, how things have changed, and the dime is on the struggling taxpayer.
Phenix City, for example, is the 15th most populous city in Alabama, but it is ranked 4th in Alabama when considering public housing dependents. Furthermore, two more complexes are under construction or announced. It seems many of us didn't receive the proverbial memo. Times are a-changing indeed.
Greg Glass, Phenix City