It feels like every other day we’re reading about some sort of cyber attack. Either it’s a rogue group that wants to make a political statement, or it’s someone that’s trying to expose financial data for profit. Either way, it’s a major hassle for companies and an even bigger hassle for consumers. Everyone is trying to keep their data safe, but how can you actually help in a way that gets the job done? Well, the first step is to understand what’s going on when a data breach occurs. It means that someone is getting unauthorized access. It doesn’t always mean that the company is at fault — there are so many vulnerabilities out there that it’s really hard to figure out where to begin in terms of protecting the public.
But you have some steps that you can do in order to make sure that data breaches don’t ruin your credit or your overall security profit.
First and foremost, you need to immediately change all of your other passwords. We know that this is a big hassle, but the problem with ignoring data breaches is that people tend to use the same password over and over. It’s better to make sure that you change your passwords frequently, and make them as complex as possible. An automated password manager will cut down on having problems with this, because you don’t have to remember as much. You can also tell it to store a new password at set time makers.
Next, you need to make sure that you’re running a proper virus scanner, just in case that any of these data breaches resulted in viruses being planted on the site. It’s something that’s happened before, and it’s never fun to have to replace data that you thought was safe.
Finally, you need to practice good identity theft protection habits. This means that you need to ensure that you’re looking at notifying the credit bureaus if you feel that your information has been compromised. They can put a freeze on your credit report so that others cannot utilize it in any way, shape, or form. Be sure that you’re looking at notifying the bank, just in case you feel that your specific financial information has been compromised. If you notify all of the agencies in a short frame of time, you can’t be held liable if actual money is removed from the account. In the case of bank accounts, you may have a small liability but it’s not that large.
Don’t let data breaches keep you from enjoying the benefits of shopping online and conducting business online. But it is important to be aware of all of the risks, and continue to move forward.