Data breaches have become a part of modern life in our connected world. Everyone is at risk of potential data breaches and having their data used fraudulently. However, just because there is a data breach, it doesn’t mean you’ll become a victim of Identity theft. To avoid any further harm to your online identity, there are certain steps you can take to make sure you contain the threat. These will potentially save your finances, credit score and your identity, keeping them away from criminals.
Here are the steps you need to take right away if you find out that your data has been breached:
1.) Immediately change your password.
These need to be a combination of letters, numbers and special characters. The password needs to be unique to every online account you have. Duplicating passwords gives hackers more chances to access your accounts. Using a password manager can help you store your passwords securely. You also need to change your passwords regularly.
2.) Set up two factor authentication.
Adding two factor authentication increases your protection, companies such as Facebook and Microsoft have these authentication processes in place if you wish to use them. They add an extra layer of security, usually requiring you to enter a code you’ve received via SMS.
3.) Check your credit report and accounts regularly.
Make sure that there is nothing there that is unfamiliar to you, if there is, contact the company straight away and alert them to what has happened, the quicker you act the less damage caused. A credit report allows you to view most of your financial information in one place.
4.) Look out for regular updates from the breached company.
They may release press releases and maintain a feed to the affected parties. For example, users were usually logged out of their Facebook accounts if they were affected in the most recent Facebook data breach. Users should keep up to date with any information regarding the breach by using social media platforms or the company websites, users may also be notified by email.
Following these steps may result in limiting the amount of damage caused by your leaked data. There are many tools that can alert you to suspicious activity and help protect your personal data, such as Cyberman365. There is also a free service offered by the Federal Trade Commission which offers a recovery plan for when the worst happens, you can find it here: https://www.identitytheft.gov/#/
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