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Keeping your Identity Safe in the Age of Data Breaches

It is not uncommon to hear about a data breach these days.  In fact, according to a survey in 2015, 80% of US companies had successfully been hacked. 

We want you to have the tools and knowledge to defend yourself in the "age of data breaches".

How to prevent your information from being stolen:

Often times, the simplest way to secure your personal information is to just not share it at all.  Most data breaches that affect consumers were not causes by the consumers themselves, but by company's poor cybersecurity practices, so it is important to properly evaluate the care a company will use when it comes to securing your personal information.

If you must purchase goods online from a website you are not familiar with, a prepaid credit card can help protect your identity by not sharing your credit card information.

Your information has been stolen, what now?

The simplest way to protect your identity after your personal information has been stolen is by requesting a freeze on your credit.  Credit freezes bar any new accounts from being opened using your name until you unfreeze your credit.

Someone is using your stolen identity information, what now?

What to do Right Away

  1. Call the companies where you know fraud occurred
  2. Place a fraud alert and get your credit reports
  3. Report identity theft to the FTC
  4. File a report with your local police department (optional)

What to do Next

  1. Close any fraudulent accounts opened in your name
  2. Remove fraudulent charges from existing legitimate accounts
  3. Correct your credit report
  4. Consider adding an extended fraud alert or credit freeze

Additional Information

For a more details and additional steps, view the FTC Identity Theft Recovery Plan document.