How to respond if your data is exposed
A data breach happens when hackers get access to a company’s database and exposed sensitive personal information. Luckily, there are things you can do to protect yourself if your data has been compromised. If you’ve ever found yourself reading a news article about a data breach at one of your favorite retailers and wondered what you should do if you’re ever impacted, keep reading.
First, what is a data breach?
A data breach is what happens when a malicious user gains access to sensitive information such as financial, health or other types of personal data. Companies collect your data in a variety of ways and might have your information if you:
- Have credit card information on file
- Made a purchase
- Enrolled in a rewards program
- Created an online account
- Downloaded its app
Most of the time, this data remains secure. But sometimes, criminals find ways to access this data despite a company’s best efforts to keep it safe. When your personal or financial information is stolen during a data breach, you may become vulnerable to fraud. If your information falls in the wrong hands, it may be used to apply for loans, make unauthorized purchases with your credit card information, or even claim your tax refund. Here’s where Chase Credit Journey® identity monitoring with data breach alerts can help.
I got a data breach alert. Now what?
If you sign up for identity monitoring, we’ll notify you if your info is exposed in a data breach. We’ll provide you with the information we found. We also give you next steps to help you protect your information and prevent fraud.
Here’s a list of the most common types of data taken during a data breach with recommendations on how to protect yourself.
Type of data on dark web and what to do to protect yourself
- Email & Password
- Change your email password to make it more secure.
- Create different passwords and change the security question on any accounts that use your email.
- Driver’s license number
- If the driver's license number doesn't match the one on your current license you won't have to do anything. It's likely the one we found probably isn't valid.
- Contact your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) about getting a new driver's license If the driver's license number matches the one you have. They'll tell you what to do next.
- Social Security Number
- Contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to let them know that your SSN was compromised. They'll tell you what to do next.
- Review your credit report for any activity you don't recognize.
- Consider placing a credit freeze on your credit report with the three major credit bureaus as an additional precaution.
The company that was breached will also typically provide information on extra steps you can take to protect your information. That’s why it’s important to reach out to the company as soon as possible. Sometimes, the company may even provide services like free credit monitoring to you if you’ve been affected by a breach.
You should continue to check your credit report regularly to make sure you recognize any new activity.
How can I protect my information?
It’s always important to take the steps to protect your financial and personal information whether you’ve been impacted by a data breach or not. That doesn’t mean swearing off online shopping for good or switching to a cash-only lifestyle. There are simple steps you can take to help secure your data. Here are some for you to consider:
- Choose strong passwords and change them frequently
- Use a credit card instead of a debit card for online purchases because they provide additional protections
- Be cautious when it comes to saving your credit card or personal information online
- Make sure you’re enrolled in account alerts so that your bank or credit card company can let you know about any unusual activity
It's also a good idea to regularly monitor your credit card statements and credit report for any suspicious activity.
Finally,make sure to sign up for Chase Credit Journey identity monitoring. With identity monitoring, we keep an eye on your information 24/7 to help you stay protected.
- A data breach is when a criminal gets access to a company’s database and steals sensitive information, such as customers' personal or financial data.
- There are many reasons why a company might have your data, including if you've bought something at its store or registered for an online account.
- You might need to change your passwords, alert your bank or get a new credit card if your data is breached. The right response depends on information that’s been compromised.
- Enrolling in identity monitoring, using strong passwords, and reviewing your credit report regularly can help you protect your data.