Five Tips to Protect Yourself During a Data Breach

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo
By Gary Jeanfaivre

Hackers continue to disrupt national retailers and consumers with data breaches and the inconveniences inherent with them.

And while there is ongoing discussion about why so many retailers are being hit by these high-tech hackers — and what needs to be done to put an end to it — for consumers, the most important thing is protecting our personal information.

So what should we do?

Here are five tips from the Better Business Bureau:

  1. Contact the organization that suffered the breach – they should have a hot line setup to address your concerns and answer your questions.

  2. Monitor your banking and credit statements closely – Check every item on your bank statements and credit card statements to be sure they are legitimate charges and expenditures.

  3. Contact any affected financial companies – If your bank accounts, credit card accounts, or investment accounts are affected, immediately contact the companies and request that the account be closed and a new one opened.

  4. File a fraud alert with all three credit reporting agencies – The credit reporting agencies are required by law to flag your credit report for 90 days if you file a fraud alert. Then if someone tries to open a new account using your information you should be contacted for verification.

  5. Sign up for any free credit report monitoring that’s offered. – If the company that compromised your information offers a free monitoring program take advantage of it [One credit report provider is www.annualcreditreport.com]. 
Michael Anthony Satterwhite April 23, 2014 at 12:12 PM
This is a great article. If your financial institution has guarantees on fraudulent charges and they try to stick you with the bill or change certain terms and conditions without consideration or notice, make sure you seek legal advice from an attorney. It is very important that you check your credit report annually. You can check your credit report for free on the website mandated under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which can be found at www.annualcreditreport.com.


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