Following the recent cyber-attack on Equifax that led to the theft of over 143 million users information, there are more reasons to understand how you can protect your information especially over the internet. This, therefore, brings the need to answer crucial frequently asked questions about cyber theft.
How do you know if your information has been compromised?
The best way to answer this question is to assume that your information may already have been accessed by hackers. Remember that cyber-attacks are ongoing and they happen at all times. However, for cases like the one for Equifax, the company has resulted to directing customers to a portal that has been set up to help identify whether they are victims of the attack.
What happens if your data has been stolen?
If you are certain that your information may have been stolen, it’s important you set up fraud alerts. This way, you will be able to get a notification when someone tries using your credit card. Just to be on the safe side, ensure that you set up the alerts from the three reporting agencies that include the TransUnion, Experian as well as Equifax. After this, you may consider security freezes with the three companies. For starters, a security freeze locks up your credit files completely. The only business that you transact with will be able to access your information.
However, this will cost you some dollars. Remember that with the security freeze, it works by the principle of no file, no account. There is a provision to temporarily open the account whenever you want to add new credit.
Is it important to change passwords?
The answer to this question is yes. It doesn’t matter which breach you are exposed to but the safest bet is always to change passwords. This is particularly true for sites that may contain sensitive information. They include services like credit card data, health sites as well as site dealing with your financials. Remember to refrain from using one password for all your sites. At the same time, refrain from using the social security number as password or username. Security experts advise you to learn the art of treating online transactions with suspicion as hackers may be out there trying to trick you.
Creating strong passwords
To ensure that your passwords are not easily encrypted, use applications such as LastPass and 1Password when creating a new password. These sites are very effective in creating unique passwords.