July 31, 2019
Data Breaches: Defensive Measures & Best Practices
“There are immediate steps you can take to prevent or limit the potential damage.”
A Risky Time
According to the FTC, 27.3 million Americans have fallen victim to identity theft and fraud in the last five years. Last year alone, 9.9 million people were affected.
In September 2017, Equifax announced that there was a data breach that compromised the personal information of 147 million people. Fortunately, there exists a resource that enables you to check to see if you were affected, as well as means of receiving compensation for it and even recovering losses of up to $20,000.
More recently, Capital One on Monday announced that they, too, experienced a data breach — an overexposure of personal information of more than 100 million people.
In this digital age, you are at risk. We all are. Here are some tips that you should consider in order to prevent, or at least minimize, the chances of having your personal information and data fall into the hands of criminals.
Best Practices and Preventative Measures to Protect Your Data
Set up fraud alerts — Fraud alerts is an effective way to prevent identity thieves from opening accounts under your name. Putting into place a fraud alert can be done through asking one of the three major credit bureaus.
Consider credit report freezes — This, too, can prevent unexpected account under your name. Similar to fraud alerts, credit freezes can be enacted by asking your preferred credit bureau.
Check your credit score and report — Seize control over your data loss vulnerability by checking your credit score and report. This is a good way to not only know where you stand, but to identify any suspicious activity that may be taking place under your identity.
Consider credit monitoring — As part of Equifax’s settlement with the FTC, they are offering their credit monitoring service free-of-charge for those affected, including theft insurance and restoration services. If you are fortunate enough to not have had your personal data compromised, credit monitoring usually costs hundred of dollars, but may prove to be a worthwhile investment towards protecting your information.