The July announcement from Capital One revealed that 100 million US citizens and over 6 million in Canada had their information exposed meaning we will be inundated with social engineering and phishing attacks for years to come.
No one is safe without taking basic security steps to protect, monitor, and secure your personal, business, and financial information. That means not only the data, but the humans who access to that data, either directly or indirectly, must be warned and prepared to deal with the creative attacks that will be coming soon.
Here is what you need to know and do now to be safe from data breaches like Capital One, those in the past and the future.
What to do if you suspect you’re a victim of fraud or identity theft. As soon as you suspect your ID has been stolen you need to take action to stop unauthorized charges and start to recover your identity. Here is a link to all the resources and information you will need to stop the fraud and protect and rebuild your identity.
Place a Credit Freeze on your credit. As of September 21, 2018 all 3 bureaus will allow you to place a credit freeze on your account for free. If you want to stop anyone from opening credit and requesting loans and services in your name without your permission, you should freeze your credit. You will need to request a freeze with each of the three credit reporting companies, which again are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Remember you will have to temporarily lift the freeze if you are dealing with someone who needs to check your credit.
Change your Passwords on high-value accounts. This includes banks, insurance, retirement accounts, companies where you make purchases, anyone who you have purchased from in the past and where you have an active account. The is a good time to start using a Password Manager. Using a password manager will greatly increase your security and ease of use. There are several great products to choose from. Here is a link to a safe site that has a list of free security software such as password keeps, Anti-virus products, and more that can help you be safer now.
Have a conversation with your parents, spouse, and kids. Sun Tzu said, “The best way to avoid a trap, is to know of its existence.” Have a brief conversation with all involved and explain what information was exposed, what steps you have taken to protect it and the family, and what each person can do to help keep the family safe. Or in the case of kids, keep their phones and computers working. They may need to change their passwords too to keep their accounts safe to use.
If you have a family computer, apply the rules. The rules are if others use that computer, no one in the family does any purchases, checks any bank accounts or financial sites on it, or uses a password that is used for other financial sites. Often kids will place key loggers on family computers to get their friends passwords on social sites to monkey with them. But it can also be a contractor, housekeeper, babysitters friend that could put monitoring programs on the family computer. Make sure you establish some rules and scan that computer monthly for malware.
Your parents or grandparents surfing the web are targets. When you have that talk make sure to include your parents to make them aware of the exposure. As seniors, they are highly targeted by hackers with social engineering (phone and text messages) and phish emails because they tend to trust and want to help people. They will get phone calls and emails created to trick them into giving personal information that can wipe them out financially. Watch out for Capital One phish emails and spoofed websites.
Prilock offers full security awareness training they can watch while they drink their morning tea or coffee. It explains in simple terms what they need to know to be safe and they can watch it as often as they like. It includes sending two phish per month to them that if clicked, will take them to a knowledge page that shows them how they were tricked, and what they could have noticed to know the email was a phish. You can find out more information here on that personal security training course.
These days it takes technology and user education to stay ahead of the hackers. Don’t be the next victim like Capital One. Take control of your online safety now, before a hacker does.