5 Steps to Take After a Data Breach
Step 1: Identify what information was breached
A data breach occurs when a business or organization is hacked and a scammer steals a customer's personal data, such as credit and debit card numbers. When you are notified of a data breach, make sure to verify if your information has been stolen and what sensitive information the scammers might have taken. Companies are required to inform you if you may have been impacted by a data breach and what information of yours may be at risk.
Step 2: Change your impacted passwords
To prevent the fraudsters from gaining unauthorized access to your accounts through your stolen passwords from the breach, you should immediately change the password on every site where you use it. When choosing a new password, avoid simple passwords that can be easily guessed. For example, your password shouldn't include birthdays, family members' names, phone numbers, etc. Longer passwords are more secure than shorter passwords. Ideally, your password should be between 8 and 20 characters, including a mix of upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Read our blog on creating strong passwords for more tips!
Step 3: Freeze your credit
You can temporarily, freeze your credit through each of the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. It won’t impact your score, but it will prevent new credit from being taken out in your name. This will prevent your personal information that was compromised in a breach from being used by fraudsters to take out loans or open up credit cards in your name. There is no fee and you can unfreeze at any time.
Step 4: File an identity theft report
Identity theft happens when a scammer has stolen your personal information and pretends to be you to apply for credit or make purchases. If you fall victim to identity theft, you can File a Report online with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which will help provide you with a recovery plan and help walk you through each of the steps you will need to take.
Step 5: Monitor your accounts
If you do become a victim of a data breach that compromises your account, card information, or online banking passwords notify Connected Credit Union immediately. Monitor your accounts for any unauthorized activity and ask us to provide heightened scrutiny of your accounts. Call the Augusta Branch at (207) 623-3857 or the Winslow Branch at (207) 872-2636 during business hours.
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