What To Do If You're Part of a Data Breach

The FTC has compiled a checklist to guide you through the anxious period after learning that your information has been exposed as part of a data breach. Their key recommendations follow, and are also summarized in this one minute video:

  • Take a deep breath. Then visit IdentityTheft.gov/databreach to get detailed advice, based on the type of information exposed.
  • If the breached company offers you free credit monitoring, take advantage of it.
  • Consider placing a fraud alert or credit freeze.
  • Depending on what might have been exposed, take the following action(s):
    • For Social Security numbers – Order a free copy of your credit report at annualcreditreport.com. Make sure there are no unexpected charges or accounts.
    • For an online login or password – Log in to your account and change your password. If you use the same password other places, change those too.
    • For a child’s information – Place a credit freeze, if that service is available in your state. A credit freeze makes it hard for someone to open new accounts in your child’s name. To learn more, visit IdentityTheft.gov/child.

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