Millions of customers have been affected by a data breach on Capital One’s customer accounts and credit card applications. The breach occurred a few months ago and affected approximately 100 million people in the United States and 6 million more in Canada, the company said. Also compromised were about 140,000 Social Security numbers, 1 million Canadian Social Insurance numbers and 80,000 bank account numbers.
Recently many municipalities and police departments in several states have also been affected by ransomware.
Now where do you think all this encrypted data is going to? Does that encrypted data just ask for money or is it also being sold? If you’re worried about your data, there are immediate steps you can take to safeguard your personal information.
Keep cool and think through. A clear mind is more productive than a cloudy one. Here are five things that you should do if you think that you may have been affected.
- Change your passwords on all accounts
First of all, change your password, yes, again. Activate two-step verifications. Two-step verification is a process that involves two authentication methods performed one after the other to verify that someone or something requesting access is who or what they claim to be.
Google’s 2-Step Verification service, for example, involves the usual password (something the user knows) and a code sent to the user’s device (something only the user has). Most other current web-based user authentication systems described as two-step verification also qualify as two-factor authentication.
- Check your accounts now
Look over every detail with a microscope, even for the smallest charge. Review all withdrawals and even credit. Read—don’t just glance at your credit card and banking statements. Report any suspicious activity to the bank as soon as possible.
If you find suspicious activity on your credit card, all banks allow you to freeze your card so that purchases can no longer be made. Some experts suggest being extra cautious to avoid potential hacks in the future.
- Don’t panic
Be ready to spend some time and energy to educate your family members, even younger children, teens, and young adults who have a shared credit card and shared line of credit. If your children are away at college it may be better to text them some information instead trying to call or talk to them. It may work even better.
Capital One says it will notify everyone who was affected by the breach and offer them free credit monitoring and identity protection services. Take advantage of those services. But note: The monitoring service will not side with you. They will not walk hand in hand to protect and prevent further unknown losses.
You should separately invest in identity recovery services. In order to work on your behalf, any identity theft restoration service will need some form of limited power of attorney. They usually require you to fill out your initial police report and give them a copy of it as well. They may require you to file a complaint with the FTC as well and give them a copy of that complaint form.
Armed with this paperwork, identity theft restoration services do all the heavy lifting. They make the calls, send the letters and, perhaps most importantly, have access to a legal department or an arrangement with a law firm to handle the legal aspects that invariably come up when you’re a victim of identity theft.
- Freeze your credit
Taking this step means that no one will be able to access your credit reports without your permission. In other words, if someone tries to take out a loan in your name, banks can’t review your report so they won’t authorize the credit.
Just be aware that it could also lead to inconveniences. You can unfreeze your credit for your own applications but there will be a short delay
- Stay vigilant
Cybersecurity attacks happen all the time but there are some practices that could help protect your information in the future. One way to do that is to sign up for a credit monitoring service if you’re not offered one by the bank and are still worried.
The key is staying vigilant
You could also check your credit reports yourself to make sure fraudulent accounts haven’t been opened in your name — and flag any reported balances that don’t match up to your statements. Do this at least once every quarter.
By: Harry Mehta- Radiant Heritage
Henry Mehta works for Radiant Heritage. Radiant Heritage is an innovative IT service provider in the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area, but primarily serves the Meadowlands area. Radiant Heritage provides variety of consulting services including connected home, cloud computing and utilizing cyber security. For more information call (201) 777-0867 or visit Http://Radiantheritage.com.