When larger organizations face a breach of their customer or employee data, they often offer free credit monitoring services to affected individuals. If you are faced with a personal data compromise and don’t receive this offer, there are still several options to help you recover from a personally identifiable information (PII) breach, say the experts at Wombat Security Technologies.
It’s important to be proactive about minimizing the impact of breach, whether yours is one of many compromised records or you are the victim of a limited-scope breach. With the latter, if you have the motive and the means to enroll in a credit monitoring service on your own dime, it could be well worth the peace of mind to know that someone is looking out for you. Regardless, the following do-it-yourself activities will help you mitigate some of the damage caused by a breach -- as well as prevent future damage.
If you’ve been alerted to an account breach -- or you suspect you’ve fallen for a phishing email that prompted you to reveal credentials for a login-protected site like webmail, online banking, or social media -- change your password posthaste. If you happen to use that same password on other sites, be sure to update those logins as well. Hackers will often cross-check stolen passwords on multiple sites in hopes of getting a hit.
For cases in which you personally discover or suspect a data security breach, contact the help lines for affected accounts right away. Be sure to use trusted customer service channels, such as phone numbers from your credit cards or billing statements.
In many cases, it’s not just account numbers that hackers and scammers scoop up. They often grab names, email addresses, and phone numbers to use in follow-up attacks. In these attacks, fraudsters will put together multiple pieces of information they have about individuals to make their messages and calls seem more legitimate and more believable. It’s important to be on high alert once you know your data is already in the hands of hackers.
With all the ado about cyber security attacks, it can be easy to become complacent about snail mail. But consider the prior point about email addresses and phone numbers and you’ll see that the leap to a mail-based attack isn’t hard to make. If scammers obtain your name, address, and other identifying information, it can be easy for them to send compelling and seemingly genuine letters, bills, payment notices and other mailers. It’s critical that you verify the validity of unsolicited mail that asks for any type of remittance.
Published with permission from RISMedia.