What to Do After a Data Breach

Taking the right cybersecurity measures on a daily basis can help reduce the risk of becoming a victim of an online attack. Unfortunately, no matter how much effort you put into securing your data, there’s always at least a 10% risk of having your information stolen. Whether it is due to lack of protection or unlucky circumstances, having your data stolen can result in serious issues, from financial charges to identity theft.

Even if both your personal and business devices are completely secured, your data can be compromised if a site where you have an account gets hacked. Even the largest corporations such as Google and Facebook have recently suffered from data breaches that affected millions of people. Here is what you can do to stop reduce the impact of a data breach on your personal data.

#1 Determine the Scale of the Issue

Before you start panicking, you should first determine how big of an issue you’re dealing with so you can plan your next move. If your data has been compromised due to a data breach on a third-party site, the company in charge will inform you of the stolen information. If you’ve only lost information such as your name and physical address, you don’t have to worry. However, if more sensitive data is involved, such as email addresses, date of birth, credit card information, social security numbers, and online passwords, you are dealing with potential identity theft and fraud.

#2 Act Fast

Once you’ve determined which pieces of information were stolen during the data breach, you need to act fast before hackers use the info for malicious purposes. Start with changing all your online passwords and make sure not to use the same password for several accounts. If possible, take advantage of two factor identification to make it difficult for hackers to access your accounts. Make sure to change passwords on all accounts you own, from Facebook and Twitter to PayPal and other financial accounts. The faster you get this done, the less of a chance hackers will have to access your profiles.

#3 Contact the Right People

Once you’ve changed all your passwords, it’s time to take care of the financial aspects. If your credit card information has been stolen, you need to act right away. Contact your credit card provider and ask them to freeze the account and issue a new card as soon as possible. There is usually a customer support service on the back of the credit card that you can call in situations like these.

#4 Get in Touch with Credit-Reporting Bureaus

If the hackers got their hands on your name, address and birth date combined, there is a possibility that they might attempt to steal your financial identity and open a new credit card account in your name. To make sure this doesn’t happen, contact the credit-reporting bureaus in your area to place a fraud alert on your name so you get informed if anyone attempts to do something suspicious.

#5 Minimize Future Risks

Lastly, a data breach can teach you a lot of lessons. It will force you to take the necessary security measures right away and it will make you take online security more seriously. After you recover from a data breach, make sure to stay aware of potential cybersecurity threats to minimize the risks in the future. We recommend taking time to comply with the CIS 20 security controls and take advantage of the NIST security framework. If you need assistance when it comes to implementing these security measures, contact the professionals at The Network Pro.

Conclusion

Knowing how to properly respond to a data breach can save you from having to deal with serious issues such as identity theft. Therefore, make sure to act fast, change your passwords and have your credit cards checked in time. To reduce the risks of potential data breaches, implement the right security measures by following the 20 CIS security controls.