Unfortunately, data breaches have become a common occurrence in today’s world. As hackers get more sophisticated and our world become even more digitally driven, it’s important for individuals to take steps to protect their online identity and information. While this can seem like an overwhelming undertaking, there are simple steps anyone can take to protect themselves, whether they’ve been impacted by a breach or not.
We encourage you to learn more and stay proactive!
1. Credit Freeze: (source: usatoday.com)
- You can choose to freeze your credit which must be done with all three credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.
- You can freeze your credit online. The process is free and won’t impact your credit score.
- A credit freeze prevents lenders from pulling your credit report which would stop criminals from opening a new account in your name.
- Should you need to open a new account, you will need to “unfreeze” it first. You can always replace the freeze.
2. Monitor your bank and credit card statements:
- Review your statements for any fraudulent activity. If you detect anything suspicious activity, contact the bank as soon as possible.
- Set up alerts so you are notified of activity and can verify the transactions.
- If you can turn off your credit card or debit card when not using it, do it! You can always turn it back on when you need to use your card.
3. Remain vigilant:
- For your accounts, set strong passwords and change them frequently. Don’t use the same password.
- Watch out for phishing scams.
- Make sure that your devices have the latest security software installed.
In addition to the above, The American Bankers Association published an article, “Protecting Yourself Online.” It is filled with terrific tips to help keep your safe online.