The Capital One Breach Exposed Millions. Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Identity
Last week the notification on my cell phone woke me early morning and this time it was a news of a new data breach within the banking institution Capital One. If you do bank with Capital One, as few of my colleagues do, I’d recommend taking precautions against potential identity theft, especially since cyber-attacks that attack your privacy and identity are on the rise. As all of you know by now that the data breach included names, addresses, emails, phone numbers, dates of birth and self-reported incomes of approximately 100 million Americans, plus an additional 6 million individuals in Canada. Even some social security numbers and bank account numbers were exposed.
Being a cyber security specialist, I always tell my family and friends that at the end of the day, you’re responsible for keeping your own identity secure. Don’t broadcast personal information or internet traffic on open networks, and keep secure passwords that you make a habit of changing every few months. Taking it a step further, you can also bolster your online security and help prevent identity theft by using a two-factor authentication for online accounts that are linked to your payment cards. Despite these precautions, in the event of a data breach like the Capital One incident, you’ll have to rely on a professional service for consistent monitoring of your private information – this is where Connectis Group can play a big role, be it your personal or commercial digital security and risk mitigation.
If your information was compromised, it may put you at risk of identity theft. Identity theft is when someone steals your personal information to open new accounts or commit activity using your name. We encourage you to monitor your credit score and report and remain vigilant in checking your financial statements.
Be sure to check your credit score and report so you are aware of any changes. Look for a significant drop in your score (30 points or more) and any inquiries on your credit report that you haven’t authorized. Keep an eye out for any transactions you didn’t authorize and report any issues to your bank or credit card company right away. If you identify a concern that involves a theft or crime, report the incident to local police. You can also report scam or fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. Tell your bank and credit card companies and close any accounts and cards that may have been compromised immediately. If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, we suggest contacting Canadian Credit Bureau for further assistance so you can place an alert on your file.