BLOG | What to do if your personal information has been compromised.
Our personal data has been under siege by lurking cyber criminals looking to capitalize on unsuspecting companies. In fact, there have been 793 million consumers impacted by these threats in the past few years, not including the Yahoo breach that impacted 3 billion email accounts. Companies like Marriott, Capital One, and Target have all been targeted for credit card information. Health care companies like Anthem have been targeted for medical data. And even data power houses like Equifax and Facebook have been successfully targeted.
With all of the headlines, it’s easy to put these instances on the back burner. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what these cyber criminals want. Identity theft happens quietly, and can take years to identify. The victims that get impacted the hardest are the ones who don’t have safety measures established to catch vulnerabilities quickly. If you’re personal data has been stolen, but you’ve yet to see any fraudulent activity, here are a few ideas on what you can do to protect yourself.
#1. Notify your bank and credit cards. If you were a victim of the Target, Marriott, or Capital One data breaches, it’s best to notify your bank and any other credit card companies of the potential threat. Most companies have added security options to help protect you against identity theft.
#2. Subscribe to a better credit monitoring program. Unfortunately, Credit Karma is probably not sufficient if you’ve had your data compromised. Instead, look at options like SmartCredit, IdentityIQ, or Experian for more complete options for credit monitoring. Believe us when we tell you it’s worth the investment.
#3. Change your passwords and check your statements. Most of the time, these hacks are targeted towards getting access to your personal accounts. Simply changing your password can eliminate a lot of future problems. We recommend changing your passwords regularly. In addition, check your statement once in a while. Like we said earlier, identity theft can happen slowly, often siphoning off small amounts for a long term before a big purchase or transaction happens.
We live in a day and age where your personal data is everywhere, and there’s little that can be done to stop that. However, if you’re vigilant and focus on easy steps to prevent major financial issues, you’ll be better prepared than most to deal with the fall out that will come from these types of data breaches.