Along with a few hundred thousand of my closest and dearest friends I am involved the one of the Experian credit breach issues. I have limited time to sign up for four years of no charge credit monitoring.
My gut feeling is that is worth about as much as a used paper towel, but I may be wrong.
We chose several years ago to freeze our credit data at Experian, Equifax and Transunion.
Is there any significant advantage to signing up with the settlement offer?
We too - did sign up for the monitoring. Receive a monthly report which has shown on dh’s report: “password has shown up on the dark web” - Dh called to find out what info and/or where- representative was clueless.
One of my reports showed “phone number showed up but no passwords breached” - didn’t bother investigating.
Oh - also, all of our cc’s/account are frozen too for many years….
It’s all too common that websites use your email as your UserName. So your email is going to be on the dark web. But that doesn’t really mean anything. If there is a breach somewhere then it gets dicier. It’s scary when you get a report that your password is out. Hence why you should always use unique, difficult, and/or long, passwords. Yada, Yada. We do carry identity insurance with Zander (as recommended by Dave Ramsey).
For my financial accounts, most do not have my email as my U-name and all have unique passwords (hard ones). Nothing is 100% but we can only try.
As I near retirement, I’m winnowing down all credit cards. For now, nothing overt, just not using them and when I get the letter saying that they are going to close my account for inactivity – I say fine to myself and don’t respond other than cut up the card (which is in a drawer, not a wallet anyway). I don’t let websites where I do shop (Amazon, Walmart), store my card and I purchase through PayPal rather than type in any numbers. I always use a credit card link to PayPal to protect against liability from misuse.
I basically stopped using my debit card even though my bank imposes no liability for misused cards, and I pay off the above CCs every week (both of those cc rebate 5%; these are the only ‘rebate offers’ I use).
One major surprise was that when I stopped using my debit card and switched to a weekly payoff of the credit cards instead, I was shocked at how much I was spending. The darn debit card was just too easy to lay down for every little thing. When I pay off the CCs weekly, now that has an impact on me. Counterintuitive, but I guess that’s the way I’m wired. In case your ‘Warning Will Roberston’ siren is going off – I never carry a cc balance.
One major surprise was that when I stopped using my debit card and switched to a weekly payoff of the credit cards instead, I was shocked at how much I was spending. The darn debit card was just too easy to lay down for every little thing.
I used to keep a “mental budget” of how much I spent–and on what. So no real surprises.
Now, I use a spreadsheet for the month–which is fairly uniform yearlong. As an expense is paid, I wait for it to show up as a reduction in my bank balance–which is proof it was actually paid. Then I zero-out that expense for that month because it is paid (cash down so expense down as well). That also lets me see if there is a hiccup somewhere in the banking system if a payment does NOT show up at my bank.
I anticipate many expenses well in advance, so I budget them (over-and-above recurring monthly expenses such as rent, food, telecom, etc) as I prepare the expected expense adjustments for the next month.