Being online means you are vulnerable to data breaches. It is a very common incidence and we all are highly vulnerable to such events. Well, compromised data don’t necessarily put you on the verge of hacking, however, you can save yourself. So, what to do if your personal information has been compromised?
YOU CAN DO TOO MANY THINGS! Let’s discuss the possibilities and draw a conclusion.
Compromised personal data: How to respond?
In this global village, data breaches have sadly become a routine occurrence; anyone using the internet runs the danger of having their data stolen. So, what to do if your personal information has been compromised? Follow the following steps to save your data from a data breach:
- Change your passwords
Changing passwords regularly is a healthy practice, but you should change the old password to a new strong, secure, and unique password. Moreover, keep using a different password for a different account and not the same one always. It is a common mistake that people have the same password for every account.
Generally, a password of 8 characteristics that have alphabets, numbers, and symbols in it is considered a ‘strong’ password. You can also use a password manager to generate strong unique passwords. Also, password managers help you save the passwords.
- Sign up for two-factor authentication
Two-Factor authentication (2FA) is taken as another important step to protect data online. You should enable this for all of your accounts. If someone knows your password, they still cannot hack your data until they surpass 2FA. This will let you protect your GMAIL, FB, INSTA, TWITTER, and other accounts.
What happens when you enable 2FA? On enabling 2FA, you will need to verify your identity after adding the password for login. It can be a text on your SIM or Google Authentication code. It means that if hackers know the password and email, they still can’t hack your account without 2FA codes.
- Check for updates from the company
You will be notified when your data will be compromised. For example, hackers tried to attack GMAIL. Google will notify you that system security is compromised and hence you are not protected like before. This is the time to take action. In a FB data breach incident, you will be automatically logged out if your account was affected. You will receive a message via FB that why you were logged out and how can log in back.
- Watch your accounts, check your credit reports
Followed a data breach, you should be more cautious about your online account activity. What it all includes? It includes everything from breached accounts to financial accounts. Keep an eye on your bank account statement, especially your credit card statement. Check if there is any suspicious transaction attempt. Moreover, you can subscribe for free annual credit reports for a better evaluation.
- Consider identity theft protection services
You might think about registering for identity theft protection services if you want further assurance. Although you can do a lot on your own, these services are not affordable. The organization involved usually offers affected consumers a free year of credit monitoring following a large data breach.
- Freeze your credit
Freezing the credit is another step to take if you were affected by a data breach. If you are living in the US, you should contact Experian or any other credit bureau. Freezing your credit won’t cost you anything, and it will stop anyone from opening new credit accounts in your name. A frozen credit means that identity thieves cannot register new accounts in your name even if they have access to all of your personal information. There is only a disadvantage to note here that if you intend to apply for loans, you won’t be able to make it. However, you can apply for unfreezing the credit anytime.
So now you know what to do if your personal information has been compromised. A data breach can be frightening, and in the worst situation, it could result in identity theft and financial difficulties. But you may avoid the dangers and inconveniences of a data breach if you know what to anticipate, take a few easy precautions, and remain attentive.