This incident proves once again that being smart about your money is about more than just keeping your sensitive info safe. It’s about preparing for the worst.
Data breaches continue to happen regularly.
Even with increased data security across companies, there’s still no way to predict how and when it’ll happen or which company will be hit next. Even after a breach, it often flies under the radar for some time, leaving users vulnerable and unaware. Scary, right?
Events like the recent Capital One breach or the broader Equifax hack in 2017 can leave you feeling vulnerable and helpless and rightfully so.
It’s one thing to have your Facebook or Twitter account compromised, but being the victim of a financial institution getting hacked adds a whole new level of distress.
How to protect yourself in a data breach
Monitor your credit
Staying on top of what’s on your credit report is an easy way to make sure someone isn’t using your information nefariously. Some companies offer free credit monitoring to victims of a data breach, but oftentimes that’s only temporary.
Credit monitoring services help you watch your credit report, where you can hopefully catch false accounts as soon as they happen.
Use a Password manager
Using a unique and strong password for every online account you own is an easy way to make sure a breach of one service doesn’t lead to bad guys accessing more of your online accounts where you used the same password.
Don’t wait to take action
The most important aspect of taking action after a hack or breach is announced is to not wait for impacted companies to announce how they want you to handle it. Be proactive. At the end of the day, it’s your information and your financial future that’s at stake.
After locking down your credit and starting monitoring services, then begin to look at suggestions from the impacted companies.
Some breaches lead to settlements, forcing the affected company to offer free services or, as in the Equifax case, offer settlements. Stop robocalls to your phone for good: Help is on the way to keep your phone from constantly ringing, but there are steps you can take right now.
Sign up for identity theft monitoring
Monitoring your credit report is an important step to take, however, there’s so much more that can be done with your personal information. An identity-monitoring service will monitor your social security number, credit,
as well as the dark web for anyone selling or trading your personal information or arrests under your name. It should give you peace of mind if someone tries to do anything with your personal information.