Working with Canvas: SpeedGrader

Canvas is Wayne State’s new learning management system. All classes will be in Canvas by fall 2018. I’m testing out Canvas and sharing my experiences with the campus community. Let me know if you have any questions or topics of interest! For this journal entry, I’ll discuss the most talked about Canvas feature (and rightfully so): SpeedGrader.

SpeedGrader will get you through your grading faster. With it you can:

  • Track your grading progress and hide assignments while grading.
  • View submissions in moderated assignments.
  • Use rubrics to assign grades.
  • View submission details for each student, including resubmitted assignments.
  • Leave feedback for your students.
  • Sort submissions by student and hide student names for anonymous grading.

SpeedGrader basically is set up to get you through your grading in the most efficient way possible. Quite frankly, this is the Canvas tool you will most enjoy when you are pressed for time at the end of the semester and need to grade papers as quickly as you can.

The Basics

SpeedGrader has five areas on the page when it is opened in a web browser on your computer.

  1. Student Submission: This is where you can see what your student has submitted. The student may include text, websites, media recordings or uploaded files. Here you may add annotations to their assignment by highlighting, adding, or crossing out text, writing a comment, or even drawing.
  2. Assign a Grade: Here you can enter a grade based on your preferred assessment method (percentage, points, or — if you set it up as you made the assignment — a letter grade).
  3. View Rubric: If you created a rubric for grading when you made an assignment, this will bring it up.
  4. Assignment Comments: Read comments from the student or add your own.
  5. Other Comment Area: You may upload a file or record a media (audio or video) comment.

Toolbar

You may have noticed in the last image that there is also a toolbar running across the top of the SpeedGrader window. This is where you will find all the information you need about each assignment.

In the upper right hand corner, you’ll notice a grouping of four icons. These control functions that affect the assignment as a whole.

  1. Grades: This opens your gradebook.
  2. Mute/Unmute: This toggles an assignment between muted or unmuted. When an assignment is muted, the student will not receive notifications regarding the assignment. Unmuting it will inform them of their grade.
  3. Keyboard Shortcuts: This will offer you some options to use keyboard shortcuts to navigate more quickly.
  4. Help: This will present you with a help menu if you are confused in the SpeedGrader.
  5. Settings: Here you can choose various sort methods or hide the students’ names for anonymous grading.

On the upper left side, you will be presented with the student information for the assignment. This is where you can easily navigate through the students for grading.  You can click on the right-pointing arrow to open the next student’s assignment or click the left arrow to go back to the previous student.

This area also includes a dropdown menu of all the students in the course, allowing you to jump from student to student as you are grading.

Finally, the center section of your toolbar gives you full details about the assignment on which you are working.

  1. Assignment: Title of the assignment.
  2. Submission Details: The date and time when the assignment was due.
  3. Course Details: Course number, reference number and section of the class in which this assignment was given (like we’re going to forget… ).
  4. Number graded: How many of this assignment you have graded and how many total are to be graded (after a long night, this is much easier than flipping through and counting how many papers you have left).
  5. Average: The average total number of points and the average percentage.
  6. Student Number: Where in the list of students you are working.

In Conclusion

Every time assignments, graded discussions or quizzes are created in Canvas, a SpeedGrader will be set up to grade them. The SpeedGrader can be accessed directly from the assignment itself or through the gradebook. I really appreciate that I can get to the SpeedGrader with far fewer steps than I could grade an assignment in Blackboard. Also, the fact that I can do all the grading from within Canvas rather than opening Word makes life far easier.

SpeedGrader is also available in the Canvas app. Look for more details on the app in a future Canvas journal.

I think that faculty here at WSU will really appreciate the SpeedGrader tool. I can see it not only helping me complete the work faster, but also saving me money (fewer bottles of wine will be needed to get through a stack of papers).

Working with Canvas: Getting started

Canvas is coming soon to your classroom and I want to address the first few questions you may have as you get started.

  1. Am I going to be overwhelmed by a new interface?

When you sign in to Canvas for the first time, you will notice that it has far less information cluttering the page than Blackboard. You’ll see a navigation bar with seven buttons and the Dashboard which shows your current active courses, a To Do list and things coming up. That’s it.

You can customize your dashboard in two ways.

  1. View: You can switch the Dashboard from the Card view (showing one card for each course, for easy access) to Recent Activity view (which is a feed of recent messages, submissions and more). Make this change using the gear icon in the top right-hand corner of the dashboard. Check them both out and see which you prefer!
  2. Image: You can add an image to the course card which is shared with the students and stands out better than some of the unwieldy course titles.
Canvas Dashboard
Canvas Dashboard Page
  1. How difficult is it to move my class from Blackboard?

In all honesty, importing a course is pretty easy. As a Canvas tester, I had to move my courses myself. Luckily, our LMS administrators are working to bring your courses over from Blackboard right now, so you will have a head start.

If you do have to move a course, the first thing you’ll do is click on the course in your Dashboard. This will take you to your course’s home page, which jumps you right into the tool to import data from an old Blackboard course (this is also where you get started if you’re building a new course from scratch).

Canvas First Homepage for Course
Canvas’s initial home page for a course

If you look at the photo above, you’ll notice Add Existing Content is one of the two choices in the center of the screen. Click this button to easily import the .zip file from a course in Blackboard (you will have to export the course first). On the next page (below) you will choose Blackboard 6/7/8/9 export .zip file from the drop down and follow the instructions. It’s that simple.

  1. How do I get my syllabus uploaded?

This is where Canvas truly shines. Your syllabus is key to helping your students succeed and it is the first thing they want when they get access to a course.

Like most, I previously created my syllabus in Microsoft Word. Then I would take that syllabus, save it as a PDF and upload it to Blackboard. Yes, you can still do this in Canvas, but there is an easier and even more informative way to do it in the new LMS.

As you open the syllabus area, the first thing you’ll do is click the Edit button (NOTE: Canvas uses the term edit even when you are first creating). You’ll immediately be taken to what is known as the Rich Text Editor, an area where you can type that has toolbars similar to any word processor, blogging tool or CMS. Here you can either type in your syllabus (for the daring ones out there) or paste information that you have already written in Word or another word processer.

Canvas's Syllabus Editor
Canvas’s Syllabus Page

 

You’ll notice that there is an area below your syllabus description called Course Summary. This is where the Canvas Course Syllabus tool really outdoes Blackboard. Course Summary shows an outline of all your assignments, topics, tests, etc. This information can be populated in several ways:

  • Every assignment that you make shows up in this summary on its due date.
  • Every quiz will show up on its due date (NOTE: All tests given via Canvas are called quizzes).
  • Any event you add to the calendar will show up.

As someone who teaches studio courses, I chose to go into the calendar and add an event on the first day of every week that shows what we will be studying that week. ­This can be done simply by clicking on the day of the month, which prompts an Edit Event box to create an event (NOTE: When you view the calendar that it is composed of layers for each one of your courses). If you’ve ever used Google Calendars or Outlook calendars online, it will feel really familiar.

Calendar Editor
Create/Edit an Event in Calendar

Calendar List
Canvas’s Calendar List

You’ll need to make certain that the layer is turned on for the course in which you want to place the event. Do this by clicking on the colored box to the left of the course name in the calendar list on the left of your screen (Above).

Adding every assignment, test and event into this calendar has a huge impact on student success rates. Not only will they receive notifications when assignments are added to the calendar, they will receive reminders as due dates approach.

  1. How hard is it going to be to know every step of setting up a course? It took me forever to learn it when I first started using Blackboard.

As with any new tool, it will take time to learn the ins and outs of Canvas. That being said, there are a few tools that can help get your course exactly how you want it.

  • Wayne State’s LMS team has created a Canvas and Blackboard Feature Comparison. This shows all the Blackboard features you’re accustomed to and their equals in Canvas. Check it out at canvasproject.wayne.edu/features.
  • Canvas has its own invaluable tool to help you get setup. Once you have entered a course from your Dashboard, you will notice a Navigation Bar along the left side — this is a constant while working in Canvas. It shows you a To Do area, things that are coming up, and has a few helpful buttons. One of these buttons is the Course Setup Checklist which is all the steps you need to take to get your course up and running, including: importing content, creating assignments, adding students, adding files, selecting the navigation links you want the students to see in the course, adding calendar events, adding TAs, and publishing the course.

Between these two tools, I’m confident you can become a Canvas pro in no time at all.

I hope that I’m giving you a sense of Canvas’s simplified layout that will make things much more accessible— not only for your students, but also for you.

Instructure (the company that built Canvas) says that they build software that makes smarter people. I can honestly say that they are doing their best to achieve that goal. My fellow Canvas testers and I have all noted that this transition has inspired us to examine the way in which we can use the LMS to better serve our students. Rather than holding us to very set functions, Canvas gives us the flexibility to test new ways of teaching our students.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month: Get to know two-factor authentication

In honor of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), I thought it would be helpful to explain three key Wayne State University technology systems that help protect the network and the privacy of employees and students. You may have seen my earlier post on the Virtual Private Network (VPN) — keep an eye out later this month for the final post on secure Wi-Fi!

The second technology I’d like to discuss is two-factor authentication (2FA).

If you have used any WSU self service portals in the past year, you’ve probably encountered 2FA. The question, then, is what exactly is it?

Two-factor authentication adds a second level of verification to an account login by requiring additional proof of identity. When you are entering only a username and password, you are using single factor authentication.

The second factor can be…

  • Something you know: An extra password, PIN or pattern.
  • Something you have: An ATM card, fob or your phone.
  • Something you are: Biometrics like a fingerprint, voice print, iris or facial detection.

Wayne State’s 2FA system uses your phone.

How to use 2FA at WSU

When you log in to a WSU system secured with 2FA, you will be presented with a page that looks like this:

You will be given three options for a second factor of authentication.

  1. Call Me: This option will initiate an automated call to your phone. Upon answering, you will be prompted to push any button on your phone to authenticate.
  2. Enter a Passcode: If you choose this method, you will be sent a text message with a numerical code that you then enter in the blank field on your screen to authenticate.
  3. Send Me a Push: To go this route, you need to download the Duo Mobile app on your iOS or Android smartphone. This choice will send you a push notification that you may quickly authenticate with.

If you choose to authenticate with a call or text, you will be encouraged to download the app.

Once you’ve installed the app, click the button I have Duo Mobile installed to proceed to this screen:

Open the app on your phone, aim the camera at the QR code on your screen, and you’ll be connected to WSU. Click the Continue button once you have finished. You’ll then be asked to sign in to the account and a push notification will be sent to your phone; approve it and you will be connected to the WSU system you are trying to access.

After this first set up, you will be able to use the push notification method whenever you want.

2FA beyond WSU

Privacy is an ever-growing concern and Wayne State is not the only place using two-factor authentication to protect information. More and more sites are using 2FA. Google has an authenticator that can be set up for a number of services, Facebook has several 2FA options, as has Twitter. Check your personal email and social media accounts to activate two-factor authentication and stay in charge of your own data.

Working with Canvas: A Journal of the Experience – Meet Canvas

At this point, I would guess that basically every Wayne State instructor has learned of the university’s decision to migrate from our current learning management system (LMS), Blackboard (Bb), to a new one called Canvas, which is made by a company called Instructure. This semester I was offered the opportunity — along with about 20 colleagues — to be one of the first instructors to teach classes in Canvas. As I learn about Canvas, I’ll do some journaling about my experiences and share them with the campus community so you have an idea of what to expect.

Knowing that change can be hard for a lot of people, a thoughtful and deliberate process to review and update our LMS has been underway for about one year. I have been involved in this process since the beginning and I am confident that the decision to move to Canvas is the best outcome for the university. You can learn more about the process and the decision at canvasproject.wayne.edu/process.

One huge advantage is that Canvas is a cloud based application—meaning that it is maintained by Instructure an Amazon Web Services hosting. This means that we will never have a moment like the beginning of the last academic year when we experienced several days of downtime. With hundreds of universities dependent on this application Instructure must guarantee reliability. They have the capacity to create backups and redundancies that Wayne State simply cannot create alone.

So, what do I actually think of Canvas?

First of all, I like it very much. Has the move over been without hiccups? No. I didn’t expect it to be. I’ve been using Bb for about 17 years and even though it very frequently drove me insane, I had become accustomed to its user interface and the Bb way of thinking. However, I have already found using Canvas to be more intuitive than Bb ever was. I’ve also found that even though the learning curve slows me down, I can do things more quickly than in Bb. Finally, I have to say that my students are far more receptive to Canvas and are having a far easier time with it than they did Bb.

Next semester, we are on schedule to have five colleges/schools using Canvas. University-wide usage will begin in the fall semester of 2018 with Blackboard being completely shut down in September 2018.

This is my first installment of this series of journals. I know I have not gone into any specifics of using Canvas. Don’t fret, they will come. For this entry, I simply wanted to outline our journey to Canvas.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month: Get to know WSU’s VPN

In honor of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), I thought it would be helpful to explain three key Wayne State University technology systems that help protect the network and the privacy of employees and students. Keep an eye out all month for this series!

The first technology that I want to discuss is the WSU Virtual Private Network or VPN.

In a recent discussion with a colleague in my home academic department, I was asked: “What is this VPN thing that I’m being asked to use to access STARS?”

Simply put, I explained, once you sign in to the VPN it is the equivalent to being on campus and working on WSU’s network. A VPN provides a secure, encrypted tunnel in which data is transmitted between the remote user and a company’s network. It allows our Wayne State employees to access systems remotely and maintain a secure link to those important systems.

VPNs are becoming more well known since the federal government recently overturned regulations that would have required internet service providers to get your explicit consent before they share or sell your web browsing history and other sensitive information [i]. For this reason, many tech-savvy consumers are choosing to use a private VPN service to protect their identity and online activity. In the same way as described above, this means that no one can eavesdrop or track a user’s online activities.

A VPN is especially useful when accessing public Wi-Fi hotspots that may not be secure or when accessing the internet from another country. They provide you, the consumer, with unfettered internet access, and help to prevent data theft and unblock websites.

As privacy matters are becoming more and more important, secure technologies make certain that the data that we use in our work here at Wayne State is secure. I would also suggest, if you are concerned about your own privacy on the internet, that you consider using these technologies in your everyday usage of the internet. There are many VPN services available to the public and they can do a great deal to protect your information.

The Wayne State VPN has an additional layer of security with two-factor authentication. I’ll share more about how this works next week.

More information

Learn more about the WSU VPN on the Computing & Information Technology knowledge base:

 

[i] http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-fcc-privacy-rules-repeal-explained-2017-4/#is-there-anything-i-can-do-now-to-keep-my-data-private-35

Happy Cyber Security Awareness Month 2017!

 

Oct. 1 begins National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (CSAM). This is an initiative that was co-founded by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Now in its fourteenth year, this month of watchfulness stretches to countries around the world under the auspices of CSAM. As we move into the month, I want to remind the Warrior community that we are all responsible for our own cyber security. The core message of CSAM is that the, “internet is a shared resource and securing it is our shared global responsibility.”

In order to encourage everyone to take Cyber Security into their own hands, the NCSA has initiated an awareness and education campaign for online safety and protecting your personal information. It is called: STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ The great thing is that people are in no way being told that the internet is so dangerous that we shouldn’t use it. The campaign is just stating that we all need to stop to think about the consequences of our actions and then enjoy all the benefits the internet has to offer.

The National Cybersecurity Alliance has some pointers I’d like to offer you so that you can remain #cyberaware:

  1. Lock down your login: A password and a username is not really enough to protect your important accounts. Use stronger authentication tools (security keys, biometrics, etc.) whenever possible. Two-step authentication can be your best friend when you want to keep your info safe. (Find info about two-step authentication at Wayne State at kb.wayne.edu/160520.)
  2. Keep a clean machine: Make certain that all software and apps on your mobile devices and computers are up to date. This makes certain that security updates are working in your favor.
  3. When in doubt, throw it out: If you receive an email, tweet or posting that has a link and you do not recognize it, just delete it or mark it as junk.
  4. Back it up: Protect all your digital information by keeping copies in a safe place. You do not want to lose your valuable data if something should happen to one of your devices.
  5. Own your online presence: Make certain that you are comfortable with your privacy and security settings for websites. The site’s default may tell people more about you than you realize. Check your privacy settings.
  6. Share with care: Think before you post anything about yourself or other people online. What is revealed could affect you or your friends and family more than you initially think.
  7. Personal information is like money. Value it. Protect it: Your interests, location, purchase history, etc. is valuable to a lot of people. Be mindful of the apps and websites you are using and what they may be collecting about you.

The internet offers a plethora of information and entertainment. While you are online laughing at cat videos, make certain that you are watching out for your privacy and security. Be #cyberaware

Eduroam is here (and there, and everywhere)

Former Information Privacy Officer Geoff Nathan got firsthand experience with Wayne State’s new eduroam service this summer. Check out what he had to say.

— Michael Barnes


Wayne State University has joined the international consortium known as eduroam. Eduroam allows anyone with login credentials at member universities to log in to the network at any other member institution.

What does this mean?
It means that if you can log in to the Wayne State wireless network (the secure one), then you can log in to the wireless network at any other academic institution that is also a eduroam member. This means you have a secure Wi-Fi option at hundreds of universities, research institutes and more.

How well does it work?
Very well! This past summer I visited the University of Hawaii (Manoa campus)1,  Tartu University in Tartu, Estonia and Southern Illinois University Carbondale. While on the campus of each place I simply chose eduroam as the network I chose to connect to, entered my Wayne State credentials and immediately got access to their network.

The only drawback is that you may get a mysterious error about certificates, but this only means that the university has made a small configuration error, not that there is a real problem.

So next time you are visiting another academic institution around the world, you probably can use their secure Wi-Fi with your WSU AccessID and password.

Find a full list of every eduroam institution around the world (sorted by country) at eduroam.org/where/. There are over 500 eduroam institutions in the United States alone and there are additional institutions in nearly 100 other countries.


1 Yeah, I know. But I’m an alum. I lived there in the ’70s.

Welcoming our new Information Privacy Officer

Those who know me (or those who occasionally look at the blog listings on Today@Wayne) may know that after 15 years at Wayne State University, I announced my retirement this past spring. I was proud to serve as Wayne State’s first Information Privacy Officer and I’m confident that my successor, Michael J Barnes, will be able to do even more with the role. You already met him when he posted over the weekend about the nasty Equifax security breach. Please join me in welcoming him.

Thanks for reading this blog over the years. I may do a guest post from time to time, so this won’t be the last you hear from me. Now for a few words from Michael:

Hi all. I am an Associate Professor in the College of Fine, Performing & Communication Arts in the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance, having served as the Artistic Director and on its Executive Committee since 2011. I’ve served on numerous committees at Wayne State and, as a member of the Academic Senate, served on the Facilities, Support Services, and Technology Committee. Before I came to Wayne State, I was faculty at the University of Miami in the Department of Theatre Arts, also teaching in their School of Law, and at Temple University. I’ve been obsessed with technology since I started learning on the original Macintosh computer.

I’ve worked with Geoff on a handful of projects in my time at Wayne State and I’m excited to become a member of the C&IT team and turn my passion for technology into a position where I can effect change. I’m taking over the ProfTech blog, so keep an eye out here for regular updates about university privacy and how faculty can best use technology resources. You can also reach me at mjbarnes@wayne.edu with questions or comments about university privacy.

Quick info about Wayne State’s cybersecurity

In the wake of the cyberattack on Equifax and the loss of the personal data of millions of U.S. citizens, I thought it would be interesting for the Wayne State community to know a bit more about cybersecurity on our campus.

Wayne State takes your privacy and the storage of your information very seriously. C&IT works constantly to make certain that all information is kept safe. It is a top priority to keep our employees information safe and to make certain that we uphold standards set by regulations like FERPA and HIPAA.

For a brief overview to understand the university’s methods of securing data, Director of Information Security Kevin Hayes shared the active controls utilized here at WSU:

  • Multiple layers of firewalls
  • Regular vulnerability scans check for malware and security issues on our central servers
  • Automatic blocking of new attackers and threats
  • Two-factor authentication for access to sensitive data
  • Manual reviews of servers, systems and processes to ensure data integrity

He also shared metrics to understand just how successful the firewall and security systems have been at Wayne State.

On a typical day, university firewalls block:

  • 187 million connections at the Internet edge
  • 8 million connections for residence halls and housing
  • 7 million connections at the data center
  • 1 million connections at our Disaster Recovery (DR) site
  • 300,000 connections for the President, Provost and Office of General Counsel
  • 200,000 connections for the WSU Police Department

In the month of Aug. 2017, the systems:

  • Dynamically blocked 2,844 attackers attempting to scan our network
  • Blocked 4,373 viruses and malware components
  • Prevented 482,316 outbound connections to other malicious destinations
  • Thwarted 91,793 hacking attempts

Yes, you read that correctly. There are close to 200 million attempts to hack into WSU systems in one day. When I first heard these figures, I was shocked. In our modern world, it is virtually impossible keep information about you completely private. Rest assured, WSU does everything possible to make certain that we are never the source that compromises your personal privacy.

The Equifax cyberattack: Be on the lookout for identity theft

On Thursday, Sept. 7, the national media reported that Equifax, which is one of the three major consumer credit reporting agencies, has been the victim of a cyberattack that affected 143 million customers. Whether you like it or not, this will likely affect you, your spouse, or any number of your family members. Unfortunately, I know many people who seem to walk blindly into what are now the forests that constitute our modern commerce and economy. Some of them feel they are protected because they don’t shop online, or because they don’t pay their bills online, or because they only use their debit card…or, or, or…  That simply is not the case anymore; no one is immune to identity theft.

In the last few years, we have been seeing a rising number of major corporations being hit by this type of attack. We saw the national retailer, Target, experience a security breach in 2013 where the names, credit card numbers, expiration dates, and security codes of approximately 40 million people were stolen by hackers. Yahoo was hit by a couple of these attacks — the information of over one billion account holders was breached.

You may think “I’m not a customer of Equifax; It doesn’t affect me.” This simply is not the case. Whether we like it or not, we are all customers of Equifax. As one of the three major credit bureaus (the other two are Experian and TransUnion), any time you apply for a credit card, a loan, or utilize your bank, your information is being shared with these agencies. They maintain consumer credit information and sell that information to businesses in the form of credit reports. Though they are heavily regulated, they are publicly traded, for-profit agencies.[i]

Media sources have reported that hackers may have gained access to sensitive information, which includes social security and drivers’ license numbers, for 143 million customers. Given that the current adult population of the United States is 245.3 million people, this means that over half the adult population of the U.S. has now had their information stolen and is at risk for identity theft.

A quote from the New York Times indicated that in severity, on a scale from 1 to 10, this attack is a 10. Unlike the Yahoo or Target attacks, thieves were able to acquire information of a more personal nature. They were able to retrieve names, birth dates and addresses; information that would allow access to bank accounts, employee accounts and medical information; the credit card numbers for 209,000 people; and documents used in personal disputes for 182,000.[ii]

What Do You Do? 

It is important that all individuals investigate as to whether their information has been compromised. Equifax has set up a site to help determine whether your data is at risk. That site is: equifaxsecurity2017.com/. You should also acquire a free copy of your credit report from one of the three major agencies. This can be obtained at annualcreditreport.com.  If you think your data has been used, be certain to contact your local law enforcement officials. In addition, if you find that your information was stolen, you should place a fraud alert on your credit files; the FTC has a website with a guide for placing a fraud alert. Equifax is also offering all consumers the ability to freeze their Equifax Credit Reports as well as making use of their Credit Protection Service for free for one year.

It is worth noting that the Attorney General of the state of New York has pointed out that the terms of service for Equifax’s credit monitoring service, TrustedID Premier, say that users give up their right to participate in a class-action lawsuit or arbitration. However, he has also stated that, in the case of this breach, those Terms of Service would not be able to be upheld in a court of law.

As one last point, I would suggest that each of you take the time to contact your elected Representatives and encourage them to examine the policies we have in place for consumer data protection. This type of event demonstrates the importance of making certain that this the industry of sharing your financial data be strictly regulated. The information that these cyber-thieves acquired could affect people for years to come.

Important Websites

 

ADDENDUM

Since my initial writing of this posting, I have read a number of articles on how to best handle the Equifax breach.  In my opinion, the best way to deal with it is to have a freeze put on your credit file with Equifax and the other services.  Because it makes makes it so that no credit report can be run, it stops any thief from opening credit in your name.  If you need to apply for credit you temporarily thaw the account by providing a PIN number (which will need to be kept in a very safe place where you cannot lose it).  Of course, the credit services do not let you freeze an account for free, nor do they thaw it for free.  However, the cost is far less than what you might experience if you are the victim of identity theft.  Equifax has bowed to pressure, however, and will offer credit freezes free for the next 30 days.[iii] If you are still a bit confused about just exactly what to do, I would suggest these articles the New York Times, “Equifaxes Instructions are Coinfusing, Here’s What to Do Now“the Chicago Tribune, “After the Equifax Breach, Here’s How to Freeze your Credit to Protect your Identity.”

 

 

[i] Irby, LaToya. “What You Should Know about the FCRA.” The Balance. 11 May 2016. https://www.thebalance.com/what-you-should-know-about-the-fcra-960639

[ii] Bernard, Tara Siegel, Tiffany Hsu, Nicole Perlroth, Ron Lieber. “Equifax Says cyberattack May have Affected 143 Million Customers” New York Times. 7 September 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/07/business/equifax-cyberattack.html?hpw&rref=business&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well

[iii] Leiber, Ron. “Equifax, Bowing to Public Pressure, Drops Credit-Freeze Fees for 30 Days.” New York Times. 12 September 2017.  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/12/your-money/equifax-fee-waiver.html?mcubz=3