Many people will fall victim to a data breach at some point. Have a plan for what to do when it happens.
“You’ve been hacked!”
Perhaps no words are more terrifying to read today than those 3 words above. With the rate at which serious crimes like identity theft are being perpetrated today and how frequently we’ve submitted data online, it has become so important to take safeguards and protect yourself from the risks of a breach.
Inevitably though, many people will fall victim to a data breach at some point. You can’t just learn the steps to protect yourself from ever getting hacked, you have to also have a plan for what to do when it happens.
In this post, we’re going over the steps you should take immediately after finding out that your private data has been compromised.
Step 1: Confirm & Identify
Before you get into a panic, you should confirm that in fact, your personal data was indeed stolen, from where and what type of security breach has occurred. These details are critical for moving on to the next steps and getting yourself as protected as possible in the weeks and years to follow.
Step 2: Start Changing Passwords & Adding Alerts
Once you’ve confirmed that a breach of your information has indeed occurred, it’s time to strengthen your defenses. Start changing all of your account passwords to different, difficult to predict number letters and symbol combinations. If two-factor authentication is offered, add it to those accounts. You should also call the credit companies to have them add alerts to your account in case anything different starts to occur.
Step 3: Invest in Monitoring Services & Be Vigilant
This last step is especially important. Whether or not the company that’s responsible for the data breach is offering free monitoring services, it’s important to consider investing in them for your own protection. They will actively seek out anything out of the ordinary happening with your financial data, social security number, and other information. You should also plan to file your taxes early to stop a perpetrator from using your data to place a fraudulent filing.
The most important thing you can do now that you know you’ve become a victim of a data breach is to stay vigilant. Check your accounts frequently for changes and stay alert and ready to respond when you notice something is wrong.
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