Customer Information Breach Again: Recently it was revealed that Capital One was the victim of a hacking hit that affected about 106 million customers. The frequency of gigantic data breaches such as those affecting firms such as Equifax, Marriott International, Target and Home Depot, means people need to assume their personal data already has been compromised. If you were a victim of the Capital One breach, Capital One has promised, in a statement on its website, that it will notify affected consumers in a variety of ways and make free credit monitoring and identity protection available to them.
Below are five things we all should consider to keep from being a victim.
- “The No. 1 thing each of us should consider doing to protect our identity is to “freeze your credit”. This is done by contacting each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This can be done online or on the phone. According to the credit bureaus, only 1 in 4 adults have frozen their credit. Unfreezing is quick and can be done over the phone or via your computer or smartphone Contact Stone Bank Customer Service if you need instructions or help on setting up your freeze.
- Change your passwords regularly. Consider using a password aggregator such as LastPass (www.lastpass.com) to ensure strong, unique passwords for all your logins. Its basic service is free; its premium service costs $3 per month. According to the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) 8 in 10 adults in the US reuse the same password for most applications.
- Obtain your credit reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, and monitor them for suspicious activity. You are entitled to one free report per year.
- Consider signing up for 24/7 credit monitoring so you can learn immediately if someone tries to open an account in your name.
- Regularly review statements for your credit cards and other accounts for signs of unauthorized activity.