Equifax, one of three main credit-monitoring agencies, "controls some of our most sensitive information," and that's a real shame, John Oliver said on Sunday's Last Week Tonight, because hackers stole that information on up to 145 million Americans. He explained why it's really, really bad that criminals likely have access to your Social Security number, address, and other information. Ordinarily, this would be a massive story, he said, "but now that every day's headline is simply the words 'Everything Bats--t Bananas Again Today,' it's slipped under the radar."
"This isn't Target exposing customers' credit cards," Oliver noted, "this is compromising Social Security numbers, the things that thieves could use to open new credit cards in your name, and if your information was stolen — which, remember, is about a 50-50 chance — it could haunt you forever." He took a look at how this happened, and "the short answer," he said, "is the people in charge have done literally everything wrong." And he explained what you can — and can't, and shouldn't (see: LifeLock) — do about it.
The first thing you should do is freeze your credit with Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, Oliver said. "That way, no one can access it, including you, until you unfreeze it." This may cost some money, and that's just another way that these companies always seem to win, no matter how bad it is for you. By the end of the segment, you might find yourself pretty, pretty angry. Well, too bad, Oliver said, "because they make most of their money selling our data to businesses, like banks. So in their eyes, we're not the consumer, we're the product. To think of it in terms of KFC, we're not the guy buying the 10-piece buckets, we're the f---ing chickens." There is NSFW language throughout. Watch below. Peter Weber