Cyber Security: 4 Tips for Handling a Data Breach
In our connected world, cyber security and preventing a data breach are hot topics. A hacked account causes more than just a headache: it can mean financial loss, identity theft…and if you’re a business owner who gets breached, it can cause business to cease for an extended period of time. While you may not be able to prevent every data breach, you can take immediate steps to help get your life and business back on track. Here are four tips for handling a data breach:
- Change Your Login Credentials
- Be Aware of Email Scams
- Check Your Credit Report
- Watch for Credit Card Charges
In the event of a data breach, login credentials should be changed immediately. Seriously, don’t wait. If you change your logins before a hacker accesses your account, you can stop them from stealing your information. Even if they manage to crack your credentials, it won’t do them any good. Those credentials will be old by that time.
When hackers gain access to a database, one piece of information they will likely gather is your email address. This can open you up to an email phishing scam. If you discover your email may have been exposed to a hacker due to a data breach, be on the lookout for unusual emails asking for personal information. Don’t click on links in emails, and don’t open attachments.
One of the most frightening aspects of a data breach is the potential to have your identity stolen. After a breach, monitor your credit report carefully for several months. It can take some time for fraudulent activity to show up on your credit report, so keep a close watch.
If a breached account includes any personal financial information, you’ll definitely want to keep a close eye on your bank and credit card statements. It might be a good idea to request a replacement for any credit card used or saved within the breached account or site.