Preventing Big Data Breach
Recently, there has been an exponential increase in digitization of one’s personal data due to various online subscriptions or purchase. Though the advantages are plenty, one cannot ignore the risk of hackers using this data for identity theft. Even though one cannot prevent such an attack, measures can be taken to limit the risks. A wiser choice than building an air-tight defense against such attacks is preventing them through execution of regular checks on your account or following some core rules when involved in online activities.
• Re-evaluating Sharing Activities: A simple and easy rule to follow is being smart with the content you are sharing. Sharing vulnerable information online is an easy source for hackers to acquire the required knowledge. An easy solution to prevent this is to evaluate your sharing activities before posting.
• Monitoring Credit Reports: Though not a good defense, this is necessary for prevention of identity theft. It is easy to monitor your reports and it helps you to spot any discrepancies early on.
• Setting up Fraud Alerts: In case data is compromised, one can go to the credit bureaus to set up an initial fraud alert, which notifies lenders and creditors that they should take additional measures to confirm your identity. This process is free and can be renewed after 90 days. In case of the victim, identity can be proven by presenting a copy of the identity theft report.
• Freezing Credit: Since freezing you credit restrains potential creditors from accessing your credit report it becomes difficult for the bad actors to open new accounts in your name. Each of the credit bureaus should be informed, and a small fee is levied each time the freeze is initiated or removed.
• Internet Subscription Inventory: It is critical to take an inventory of all the online subscriptions and track the services that are linked to your financial accounts (credit or debit card). In addition to that, it should be ensured that strong and unique passwords are protecting each of these accounts and therefore, your personal data.
• Being Vigilant: Not being a victim of data breach or identity theft doesn’t necessarily immune one from such an attack. One should always be alert and perform regular checks on their accounts. This will help in spotting suspicious activities, if any, during the early stages. Hence, it is essential to make a habit of frequently checking your bank and credit card statements.