You’re a victim of a data breach. Now what?

DON’T PANIC: If your personal info has been stolen, here are a few tips to limit the potential for damage. — ©AFP/Relaxnews 2013

What should you do if your personal information has been compromised in a data breach?

Having your information stolen by a data breach can be a very frightening experience. Fortunately, even if your information has been compromised, there is no guarantee that it will be used maliciously.

Luckily PCWorld offers a few tips to limit the potential for damage:

1. Change your passwords

Changing your passwords should be the first thing you should do after hearing of a breach, especially if the account that was compromised shares a similar login information on other sites, especially if you use it for banking.

Strong passwords should be at least eight characters long and should contain numbers and special characters (i.e. #&*)) as well as letters for your protection.

2. Watch for phishing attempts, malicious e-mail messages

If your e-mail address is exposed during a data breach, the hackers who have stolen it may try and send you targeted malicious e-mail messages.

In addition to seeing suspicious messages you may see a rise is spam as well. Don’t open any attachments that you weren’t expecting to receive, even if it is from someone you trust.

To be safe don’t click on links in e-mail messages, especially if it looks like it may be coming from your bank. It is safer to type the site address into the address bar yourself to avoid being brought to a malicious site.

3. The same goes for snail mail

If your physical address was compromised in a hack, cybercriminals may try and send you malicious mail via the postal service. Be wary of any mail that asks you to send money or your personal information.

4. Keep an eye on your financial statements

If you believe your financial information may have been compromised it is important to watch your bank and credit card statements to make sure that there haven’t been any unauthorised withdraws or purchases made to your accounts.

If you find any, report them to your financial institution immediately and request a new card. — McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Source: The Star Online

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