What action should you take in response to a data breach?
A credit reporting agency may be affected by a data breach that affects millions of consumers. The data might include names, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, driver's license numbers, military ID numbers, and passport numbers. The agency may have failed to implement adequate security measures to safeguard consumers’ personal data and ignored weaknesses in its data security. It’s terrible for this information to be released.
What should you do if you are one of the affected consumers?
- Confirm that a breach occurred
Don’t trust emails about a breach, as scammers may write false alerts to catch consumers. Instead go to the offending company’s website and confirm that the scam occurred and that information about you was disclosed.
- Monitor your accounts
Closely monitor financial accounts and credit reports to detect any unauthorized activities. Consider placing a fraud alert or credit freeze on your accounts to prevent further damage.
- Strengthen your password
Immediately change your password and answers to security questions.
- Determine the type of data stolen
Assess the type of data stolen. You can replace credit cards, but a social security number is more difficult to change.
- What damage has been done?
Find out if the scammers are using your data for illicit acts. Committing identity fraud may be at the top of their agenda.
- Notify your bank
If your financial information has been stolen, immediately notify your bank and credit card companies so they can act.
- Be aware of phishing scams
Be cautious of emails and phone calls asking for personal information, as scammers may use the data breach as a pretext for phishing scams.
- Stay informed
Stay informed about developments related to the breach and actions being taken by the company to mitigate the impact. Take advantage of credit monitoring or identity theft protection services offered by the company.
- Seek assistance
Consult a qualified attorney. State laws often help consumers seek damages for data breaches.
Who should you contact to advise you on the breach?
A data breach can have far-reaching consequences for both individuals and businesses. It is important to be proactive in response to a breach to prevent further harm. The steps outlined above, including confirming the breach, monitoring accounts, strengthening passwords, determining the type of data stolen, notifying relevant parties, and seeking assistance from a qualified attorney, can help you respond effectively and minimize the impact of a breach. At Consumer Attorneys, we understand the importance of protecting personal information, and we are here to help those who have been affected by a breach. If you’ve been victim to a data breach, please fill out the “Contact Us” form to the left, and we’ll get in touch with you.