What to Do After a Data Breach
A data breach can feel just as invasive as someone breaking into your home. While someone may not have physically entered your space, they have still digitally invaded your privacy, leaving you vulnerable. Knowing that your information has been stolen is a scary feeling, but it is essential to take the necessary steps after a data breach to ensure that you prevent additional attacks on your identity and information.
Identify & Confirm Your Data Was Exposed
It can be hard to believe that your information may have been taken. For this reason, one of the first things that you will want to do is confirm that a data breach has actually occurred. In the digital age, there are many ways that criminals try to scam others. One of these includes fake data breach notifications.
When confirming a breach, always contact the organization or company directly through their secure website or phone number. Never respond to fake emails or provide personal information to someone you cannot confirm works directly with the company where your information was taken from.
Figure Out What Type of Data Was Breached
Once you have confirmed that your data was exposed you will want to figure what kind of information was accessed. Ask the organization what type of data was stolen so that you can determine what your next steps will be. If your credit card information was taken you can cancel your cards and request replacements. If your Social Security number or other personally identifiable information was stolen take immediate action as this information can be used by thieves to steal your identity and take advantage of many other aspects of your life.
Accept Help Handling the Data Breach
When a data breach occurs, companies will often offer some type of support to those that have been affected. While you may have negative feelings towards the company at the moment, their help can be valuable in preventing additional abuse of your information. If help is offered to monitor your credit or provide identity theft protection services, consider accepting the offer as addressing a data breach can be costly and you will want to be able to closely monitor all facets of your identity until the issue is resolved.
Update Login Credentials
This is one we have all probably heard before because it is the easiest to manage. If you have experienced a data breach, updating all of your login credentials is an essential step to prevent thieves from accessing other information. Take the time to update your usernames, passwords, and security questions on your accounts as this will make it more difficult for someone to gain access again.
Your passwords are the keys to your digital life which is why having strong passwords is so important. While you may want to use a simple password for convenience or easy memorability, going with a stronger password will benefit you more in the long run.
To create a strong password, remember to:
- Make it unique, but memorable to you
- Make it at least 12 characters
- Include numbers and symbols
- Avoid personal information and common words
These tips can help you create a strong password that will protect your account. Try not to use the same password for every account as that could leave you vulnerable if your data is breached in the future.
Continue Monitoring Accounts
After updating your credentials and working with the company, you will want to continue to monitor your accounts to ensure that your efforts were successful. After the initial data breach, it is recommended to check your accounts daily to ensure that there isn’t any suspicious activity. When you start to feel more comfortable that your accounts are secure again you can cut back on how often you monitor your accounts. Though, it is still recommended to regularly check your accounts so you can stay informed on the status of your information.
Take Additional Action
Being the victim of a data breach is often a difficult experience to go through. Whether you are an individual experiencing the theft of personal information or a company going through a data breach, you will want to ensure that you take every step possible to be protected in the future. In some cases, you may want to consider involving state or local law enforcement or the IRS depending on your situation.
As a company, there are many things that you can do to prevent the data of your customers and employees from being accessed. At Aliado Solutions, we work with companies in order to identify their risks and provide solutions to any weaknesses that we may encounter. Take the first step towards protecting your company from a data breach by contacting us today!