Color of Money: October is a spooky month for cybersecurity awareness

Michelle Singletary on

The agency uses what it calls an "identity services provider."

Want to guess who that is?

Equifax currently has the $4.3 million contract for one year to verify people's identity.

Since information was stolen from Equifax, I asked Hinkle if the agency would continue to use the credit bureau.

"We are currently evaluating this as we obtain more information from Equifax," he said.

Supposedly, neither you nor an identity thief can create a Social Security account if you have a freeze in place. But are you willing to take that frightening chance?

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"If people visit a Social Security office to create an account, there is no need to remove the security freeze," Hinkle said.

On the home page for, click the link for "Contact Us" to find a nearby office using your ZIP code. To set up an online account, click the link for "my Social Security."

I'm still getting lots of questions from readers concerned about the various breaches, and I'm trying to answer as many as I can.

Lots of people are trying to place a credit freeze on their files. Some who encounter problems doing so online are being asked to mail various documents to prove their identity.


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