Capital One is the latest financial giant to get slammed by a massive data breach, compromising the personal information of more than 100 million of its customers in the US and 6 million in Canada.
A 33-year-old, Seattle-based woman named Paige A. Thompson has been arrested in connection with the breach, which exposed a trove of data including home addresses, email addresses, birthdates, Social Security numbers, credit scores, credit card transactions and self-reported income.
Capital One, which learned of the breach on July 19, has said it will notify affected customers “through a variety of channels” and provide them with free credit monitoring and identity protection services.
In the meantime, here are a few basic steps you can and should take to make sure your information is safe:
- In addition to checking all Capital One credit card, savings and checking accounts for suspicious charges, check all financial accounts with other institutions, including mutual funds and stock-trading accounts, for signs of suspicious activity. If you spot something unusual, report it to the relevant financial institution immediately and consider placing a freeze on the affected account.
- Change passwords on all accounts. It may be a pain in the neck, but switching passwords periodically is a good idea, and it’s especially important after a data breach to make sure you’re not using the same or similar passwords across various accounts.
- Consider a credit freeze, which prevents anyone from pulling your credit report without your permission. Yes, this could trip you up if you’re in the middle of buying a house or car. But it will prevent hackers and other bad actors from taking out a loan in your name. The process is free and won’t impact your credit score.
Unfortunately, you’ll need to freeze your credit with all three major credit bureaus — Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, the latter of which has become famous for its own massive data breach.
- Stay alert. Consider signing up for a credit monitoring service or checking your credit reports several times throughout the year. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion allow people to access their credit report once per year for free. Remember that companies generally will not make unsolicited requests for financial information via phone or email. Only communicate with companies on the phone number provided on their official website.
Source: on 2019-07-30 10:48:45
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