What You Should Know About the Capital One Hack Affecting 100 Million People

Poike/iStock via Getty Images
Poike/iStock via Getty Images

What’s in your wallet? Possibly a compromised credit profile. Capital One announced Monday that more than 100 million people in the U.S. and 6 million in Canada have been affected by a data hack that’s left their personal and financial information vulnerable.

According to MarketWatch, the hackers were able to secure credit scores, ZIP codes, email addresses, and birth dates of Capital One card members and applicants. Worse, roughly 140,000 Social Security numbers were nabbed. So were about 80,000 bank account numbers.

The company acted in concert with the FBI to investigate the hack, which Capital One says it first discovered on July 19. A suspect, Paige A. Thompson, was arrested in Seattle and charged with one count of computer fraud and abuse. At this point, Capital One has no indication the data has been used for fraudulent purposes, but there’s no way of knowing if that could change.

The company intends to reach out to cardholders affected by the crime to notify them of the hack and to offer two years of free credit monitoring, which has become the standard gratuity for companies trying to address the shaken faith of consumers. Recently, Equifax agreed to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that would give consumers affected by their 2017 hack free credit monitoring or up to $125, with the option of claiming another $250 to $500 for time spent resolving fraud issues or identity theft as a result of compromised personal data.

If you’re concerned your information might be used for identity theft, it’s best to monitor your credit reports or cards for suspicious activity. If your bank account was compromised, notify your banking institution. You can also opt to “freeze” your credit profiles from the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. Freezing the reports prevents any business from checking them and makes opening new accounts impossible. If you want to open an account or take out a loan, however, you’ll need to unfreeze the reports.

[h/t MarketWatch]

How Much Are You Spending on Streaming Services? This Handy Calculator Can Tell You

LightFieldStudios/iStock via Getty Images
LightFieldStudios/iStock via Getty Images

With the recent debut of both Disney+ and Apple TV+, not to mention upcoming launches for HBO Max, NBC’s Peacock, and more, streaming services are officially coming for cable television’s throne—and might sneakily empty your bank account while they're at it.

While a monthly fee of $10 to $15 seems easy enough to justify if you’re willing to sacrifice a burrito bowl or fancy cocktail once a month, the little voice in the back of your head is probably whispering, “but it still adds up.” To find out just how much, MarketWatch created a calculator that will not only tell you how much you’re spending on streaming services every month; it’ll also add up the lifetime cost of all those entertainment expenses.

The calculator covers Netflix, CBS All Access, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Sling TV, Disney+, Apple TV+, and YouTube TV, and it also includes a whole host of add-ons that you might not even have realized were available. Through Amazon Prime, for example, you can subscribe to HBO, Showtime, and other premium channels—but there are also more niche options like Hallmark Movies Now and NickHits (with iCarly, The Fairly OddParents, and other Nickelodeon classics).

As you check off services and add-ons, you’ll see your monthly bill on the right side of the total box, and the lifetime cost—which accounts for 50 years of streaming, adjusted for inflation—will balloon before your eyes on the left side. Below that, there’s an even larger number labeled as the lifetime “true” cost, which estimates how much you would’ve made if you had invested that money instead.

For example: If you sign up for basic monthly subscriptions to Netflix and Disney+ for $9 and $7, respectively, your lifetime cost totals around $16,200. However, if you had opted to invest that money, the 50-year prediction sees you walking away with almost $74,000.

Having said that, it’s understandably hard to look that far into the future, especially when Disney+ is tempting you with the Lizzie McGuire series, Star Wars spinoff The Mandalorian, and practically every beloved animated Disney movie from your childhood.

[h/t MarketWatch]

Everything You Need to Know About Budgets

Mental Floss via YouTube
Mental Floss via YouTube

Blustery days are finally replacing balmy ones, and that means the holidays are almost here. From booking Thanksgiving airline tickets to buying heartfelt holiday gifts, it’s easy to find yourself a little short on both time and money. In other words: ’tis the season for budgets.

In the latest episode of Scatterbrained, presented by Discover, Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy and friends will walk you through some tips and tricks to help you make a budget—and stick to it.

In addition to learning how to break down your paychecks into categories and knock out your to-do list efficiently, you’ll also delve into the history behind budgets—which didn’t always relate to financial planning. (When William Shakespeare used the word budget in The Winter’s Tale, for example, he was referring to a small purse.)

Find out more—including the surprising thing you have in common with squirrels—in the full video below.

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