BBB Urges Consumers and Businesses to Change their Passwords

August 06, 2014

VANCOUVER - In the wake of reports on another alleged massive international data breach in which billions of user names and passwords were stolen by international cyber-criminals, the BBB of Mainland BC urges consumers and businesses to change their passwords and review their security proprieties. This latest attack follows on the heels of other high profile data breaches involving eBay, Target, Michael's, and many more.

According to Hold Security, its Deep Web Monitoring program discovered what could be the widest-ranging global security breach in history. Hold Security has yet to publicly disclose the affected websites, which is estimated to number in the hundreds of thousands and up to a staggering 1.2 billion user names and passwords, and more than 500 million email addresses.

Avoid becoming a victim

It’s widely known that the motivation behind these types of crimes is to gain access to private, personal information such as online accounts and financial records. Since data security is the responsibility of individual merchants and websites, consumers cannot do much to prevent breaches from happening - however you can take steps to prevent your identity from being compromised.

  • Use strong passwords
  • Change your passwords regularly
  • Don’t use the same password for every online account or website
  • Monitor your banking and credit card accounts frequently
  • Set up alerts on your credit reports with the three credit reporting agencies
  • Be mindful about the types of information that you disclose online
  • Discuss identity theft and online security with every member of your family

If you believe your identity has been compromised

Recovering from identity theft can be a long and complicated process. It is wise to keep a record of all communications, send all letters by certified mail and keep copies. Contact the fraud departments of each of the two major credit bureaus and request that a Fraud Alert be placed in your file. Order a copy of your credit report at the same time to check for any inconsistencies.

File a report with your local Police. Although they are often unable to help, a report may be necessary to help convince creditors that someone else is using your personal information.

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