It was recently announced that Capital One has suffered a security breach, and there some things that cardholders need to do right now. According to CBS News, about 106 million Capital One credit card applicants had their data compromised by the breach. Around 140,000 customers actually had their Social Security numbers taken during that hack. Furthermore, there 80,000 people who’ve had their bank account numbers stolen as well.
Capital One learned of the hack on July 19, and reportedly notified authorities right away. However, some experts have said that consumer personal information is almost always at risk.
“Whether it was this breach, the Equifax breach, Marriott, Target, Home Depot … there have been so many that you need to assume your personal data has already been compromised,” said Ted Rossman, a CreditCards.com industry analyst. “This surely won’t be the last, so take defensive actions now.”
Scroll down to read about the step that should be taken to better ensure your privacy and security, as first shared by CBS News.
Slide 1 of 8Do A Credit Freeze
Most security experts agree that freezing your credit is an important step in protecting yourself from hackers.
The three credit bureaus are Equifax, Transunion, and Experian, and all three offer free credit freezing.
“This is the best way to prevent a criminal from opening an unauthorized account in your name,” Rossman added. “Unfortunately, only about one in four U.S. adults have frozen their credit.”
Slide 2 of 8Start Using A Two-Factor Authentication Process
Using two-factor authentication adds a layer of security to your private information that can better protect it from hackers. The most common form of this type of security is when a company texts a one-use code that allows you to access your account with them.
Using this protects your information because a hacker would have to have access to your cell phone in order to get into your account.
Slide 3 of 8Get A Credit Monitoring Service
Signing up for a credit monitoring service can help protect you because your private info will always be looked after. You will also be notified if there is any type of suspicious activity with your information.
There are even some websites that offer free credit monitoring.
Slide 4 of 8Be Vigilant About Phishing Scams
Phishing is defined as “the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.”
It is very important to not access emails and websites that appear to be fake.
Capital One is even asking for consumers to forward any suspicious emails to them, and then immediately delete it.
Slide 5 of 8Update Your Passwords Often
The last step you can take to better protect yourself from identity theft, is regularly changing your passwords.
The longer you keep a password, and the more often you use it, the easier it can be for hackers to figure out.
“Use a password aggregator such as LastPass to ensure strong, unique passwords for all of your logins,” Rossman suggested. “We found that more than 8 in 10 U.S. adults re-use passwords, which is a major security vulnerability.”
Slide 6 of 8How to Know If You Were Affected By The Breach
At the moment, there is no proactive action you can take to determine if you were one of the individuals whose information was accessed in the breach.
CNET reports that Capital One will be notifying those affected directly.
Slide 7 of 8What Action is Capital One Taking?
Capital one says that it has fixed the error that allowed the private information to be accessed.
They have also reportedly claimed that they will offer free credit monitoring and free identity protection to anyone affected.
Slide 8 of 8What To Do If You Suspect Fraud
If you suspect any fraudulent activity that might be related to this situation, you should place a fraud alert with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This will notify Capital One of what has happened.
You should also contact the fraud department for the credit card company, or companies, where you notice suspicious activity.