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Equifax cyberattack: How to get a free credit report, protect your identity

Published: Saturday, September 09, 2017 @ 4:33 PM

143 Million Could Be Affected by Equifax Data Breach

Credit reporting juggernaut Equifax announced Thursday that its information was compromised in a major cyberattack affecting 143 million Americans – or two-thirds of people with credit reports.

>> Read more trending news

Hackers were able to get birth dates, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and addresses, according to Equifax, leaving some to wonder how they can protect themselves.

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Here are some tips for ensuring your information is secure:

Find out whether you were affected by the hack through Equifax’s website. The site asks for a person’s last name and the last six digits of their Social Security number in order to determine whether the person was caught in the breach.

Don’t bother with Equifax’s monitoring serviceClark.com reported, noting that the company offering the service is the same one that was hacked.

“The only way to truly protect yourself is with a credit freeze,” Clark.com reported, recommending that people freeze their credit files with all three of America’s major credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and Transunion. Doing so does not affect whether or not a person can use already existing lines of credit.

>> Read more information on freezing your credit on Clark.com

Review your credit report and put a fraud alert on it if you are affected, Popular Mechanics suggested. A fraud alert will make it necessary for banks and credit companies to jump through extra hoops to confirm your identity. The magazine noted that a fraud alert filed with any one of America’s three credit bureaus -- Equifax, Experian and Transunion -- will be shared between the three.

>> Read more information on fraud alerts from the Federal Trade Commission

Whether or not you decide to put a fraud alert on your credit file, you can still obtain a free credit report once every 12 months from each of the credit bureaus. The reports can be obtained through annualcreditreport.com or by completing and mailing an annual credit report request form, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

>> Read more information on obtaining free credit reports from the Federal Trade Commission

You may order your reports from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies at the same time, or you can order your report from each of the companies one at a time. The law allows you to order one free copy of your report from each of the nationwide credit reporting companies every 12 months.

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Endangered sea turtle found dead with beach chair around neck prompts viral plea

Published: Sunday, July 15, 2018 @ 5:29 AM

File photo of a Kemp's ridley sea turtle on the beach.
skeeze / Pixabay.com
File photo of a Kemp's ridley sea turtle on the beach.(skeeze / Pixabay.com)

An Alabama conservation group has issued a graphic warning after an endangered sea turtle was reportedly found dead, tangled in an old beach chair.

According to WMBBFort Morgan Share the Beach posted a now-viral Facebook photo Saturday of the dead Kemp’s ridley turtle, which washed ashore at the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge.

>> On WFTV.com: ‘Sea creature’ may have bitten 14-year-old girl at Florida beach, officials say

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“This makes me so mad,” the post read. “How many hundreds of times do we have to ask people to pick their stuff up? It should just be common decency. I think I am going to print this out and carry it with me next time I have to ask.”

>> See the post here (WARNING: Graphic photo)

By Sunday morning, the post had been shared more than 2,700 times, prompting hundreds of comments.

“Come on, people, if you want to ‘adult,’ then be one and pick up after yourselves,” one commenter wrote. “This is their habitat, be mindful and respect it.”

>> Read more trending news 

“Please, please. Only leave footprints,” added another. “How do we make visitors understand this?”

Read more here.

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National Ice Cream Day 2018: Deals at Dairy Queen, Carvel, PetSmart and more

Published: Sunday, July 15, 2018 @ 11:17 AM
Updated: Sunday, July 15, 2018 @ 4:23 PM

Cool Things You Didn't Know About Ice Cream

If you are in the mood to scream over ice cream today, you’re in luck.

Today is National Ice Cream Day (finally), and ice cream joints across the country are offering sweet deals on your favorite flavor. 

And there are plenty of people who will take them up on the offers. Ninety-six percent of Americans surveyed by YouGov said they regularly eat ice cream.

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America’s favorite ice cream flavor is chocolate, according to the survey, followed by vanilla, butter pecan, cookies and cream, mint chocolate chip, cookie dough, strawberry, pistachio, rocky road, chocolate chip and cake batter.

Don’t see your favorite there? Maybe the deals below can help. Here’s the scoop on freebies and deals being offered to celebrate ice cream.

(Note: Not every restaurant in a chain may be honoring the deals, so be sure to check with local ice cream shops to confirm which deals are available before you go.)

Baskin-Robbins: Download the Baskin-Robbins app on National Ice Cream Day to get offers such as a buy one, get one free cone, .99 cent sundaes and $2 off a medium milkshake. 

Bruster’s: Join the new Sweet Rewards loyalty program and get a $3 reward toward your ice cream purchase.

Carvel: Buy one cup or cone – any size – and get a second one free. 

Dairy Queen: Get a free small Blizzard treat when you download the Dairy Queen app and register for an account.

Dippin' Dots: You can get a free mini cup of Dippin' Dots at participating stores and shopping center locations

Monkey Joe’s: Monkey Joe’s is hosting a special customer appreciation event on Sunday with free ice cream cups for each guest while supplies last.

PetSmart – Your dog can get a doggie ice cream at PetSmart locations that have a Pets Hotel on Saturday and Sunday.

16 Handles: You can get the first 3 ounces of yogurt/toppings free from open-5 p.m. Sunday if you download the app. Check out the details of the deal here.

Sub Zero Ice Cream: Come in Monday for $1 off regular ice creams from 5 to 8 p.m. at all locations. 

Your Pie: Get free gelato on Sunday at participating restaurants. 

Yogurtland: Buy one get one free from 1-6 p.m.  

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These types of pet foods could cause heart disease in dogs, report says

Published: Saturday, July 14, 2018 @ 11:15 PM

FDA Warns These Types of Pet Foods Can Cause Heart Disease in Dogs

Want to keep your pup healthy? You may have to avoid certain foods, because some could cause heart disease, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration. 

>> Read more trending news

The agency issued a warning this week after assessing reports that have associated certain diets with cardiovascular disease. 

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Researchers found that pet foods with peas, lentils, potatoes and other legume seeds have been linked with instances of canine dilated cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle in dogs. The condition can enlarge the heart, often leading to heart failure.

Although the illness is typically found in larger breeds like great Danes and Newfoundlands, the FDA said “highly unusual” reports of dogs not vulnerable to the disease have contracted it. 

“That’s why the FDA is conducting an investigation into this potential link,” the organization wrote in the statement. “The FDA has been in contact with the pet food manufacturers and the veterinary community to discuss these reports and will provide updates as more information becomes available.”

For now, experts are advising pet owners to consult their veterinarians before making any changes to their pets’ diets. 

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'Sea creature' may have bitten 14-year-old girl at Florida beach, officials say

Published: Sunday, July 15, 2018 @ 3:55 AM

How to Avoid a Shark Attack

A teenage girl was airlifted to the hospital Saturday after possibly being bitten by something on Playalinda Beach in Florida, according to Brevard County Fire Rescue.

>> Watch the news report here

The 14-year-old girl came out of the ocean with a severe cut on her leg, firefighters said. 

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Officials said they have not yet determined if the cut was surfboard-related or from a “sea creature.” 

>> Read more trending news 

The girl was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center, officials said. 

On Friday, Fernandina Beach police said two people were bitten by a shark, closing the beach there.

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