Surviving a Data Breach

December 19, 2013

BBB offers the following advice for what to do if you are notified that your information has been compromised in a data breach:

  • Take any notifications that your information may have been compromised in a data breach seriously. Most companies will set up a hotline to address concerns and answer questions.
  • Sign up for any free credit monitoring that may be offered by the company.
  • Contact your financial institution or credit card issuer and get their advice on what to do, which may include closing the account and/or issuing a new card.
  • Your bank or credit card issuer may call you if they detect possible fraudulent activity on your account, but they won’t ask for PIN numbers or other confidential information.
  • Be vigilant in checking your bank and credit card statements. If you can, check online rather than waiting for a paper statement to come in the mail.
  • Beware of scammers. A widely publicized data breach such as this affords crooks the opportunity to contact you pretending to be from Target, your bank, or credit card issuer, phishing for information.
  • Never provide financial or other confidential information in response to an unsolicited email. Don’t click on links or download attachments.
  • Consider filing a fraud alert with all three credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You only have to contact one, who will inform the other two. They’ll flag your credit report for 90 days and notify you if someone tries to open a new account using your information.