Protect critical information
The question I have for Equifax, and, indeed for every entity that holds confidential information about me, is this: Is that critical data stored in a hashed form? If not, why not?
Hashing is a form of one-way encryption, which is computationally infeasible to decode, even if you know the algorithm used to encrypt it. Hashing isn’t new. I used it in the early ’80s to ensure data integrity. It isn’t expensive. Almost all passwords are stored in a hashed format, so the process is well known to IT people or programmers.
Did you ever wonder why, although there have been several major data breaches in which the password files were lost, not much comes of it? Did you ever wonder why passwords are case sensitive? The reason is that the passwords are hashed and even the people with direct access to the database can’t decode them.
Any organization of any kind that doesn’t hash critical information, especially Social Security numbers, is guilty of depraved indifference in my opinion. Helen Rhine, St. Paul, Texas