Every time you turn on the TV it seems there’s a new announcement about a major data breach. From retailers to government entities, no one is immune to these hack attacks. If your information ends up in the hands of one of these crooks, time is of the essence to minimize the damage. Here are three quick things to do right after your data is breached.
Update Your Accounts
Be your own first line of defense. You know your spending habits and account activity better than anyone and you can be the first person to flag something phishy. One of the fastest and most effective things to do is immediately change the passwords on all of your compromised accounts. Remember, it pays to be cautious and you should contact all of your credit companies for new cards as well. The process may seem tedious now but it’s easier than refuting fraudulent charges later.
From every phone call you make to every email you send, thoroughly document the data breach ordeal. The more proactive you can be the better chance you’ll have of protecting your information. Consider filing a police report to solidify your status as an identity theft victim and protect against excessive financial liability. After documenting your experience with local authorities, file an affidavit with the Federal Trade Commission. This notarized document can show credit card companies, banks, and other institutions the credible facts about your case.
Consult an Attorney
You shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s carelessness. If a company that you entrust your information with fails to keep your account confidential, they must be held accountable. Companies may try to offer you something as simple as free credit monitoring for one year but that deal is as useless as a Band-Aid on a broken bone. These temporary services often miss important aspects like alerting you when someone opens a new account in your name. Instead of accepting the first deal they give you and hoping for the best, contact an attorney, and learn your rights.