4 Steps to Securing your Personal Data After a Breach

There is an old saying that “there are no shortcuts in life.”

While I am not sure who originally created that statement, I can’t help to assume they didn’t work from a computer—or if they did, they must have not known the power of the CTRL (control) button.

shortcut sign

By: Shelby Beadle

Protecting your personal data is a growing concern in our society. There is news of cyber attacks and data leaks being reported constantly and we are all potential victims.

Take the recent LinkedIn data breach for example, 92% of users on the platform were affected by that breach. While it is a terrifying reality that data breaches like this are projected to only increase, rest assured that there ARE steps you can take to keep your personal data as secure as possible.

Follow these 4 steps to secure your data in the event of a data breach:

1.       Be in the Know

Stay informed by consuming cyber news from a trusted source. The sooner you know of data breach, the sooner you can act.

2.       React Quickly

Be quick to react. As soon as you learn of a reported cyber attack against any organization you have an account with, begin to research to determine if you were affected by the breach and what type of data was leaked. http://www.haveibeenpwned.com is a great resource for this, you simply enter your email address to view a report of data breaches containing that email with a brief description of the information that was leaked. Do keep in mind that data breaches are not immediately updated, so if it is a new report, it may not appear on the site.

If you determine that log-in credentials were not released, we recommend you still change your passwords out of precaution. If you are using a password manager, you can autogenerate the new password to make sure it is as secure as possible!

3.       Take Action Depending on the Type of Data Leaked

As a rule, always update log-in credentials such as passwords in the event of a data leak. Other actions taken will depend on the type of information that was released. Reference the graphic below as a guide on what you may need monitor or update.

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4.       Be Prepared

Not all cybercriminals will use your data for harm immediately after at attack, some may even wait years. However, continued cyber hygiene can help you to be prepared. The more information about you that is released online, the more criminals will know and they will likely use that information to create sophisticated phishing attempts. Knowing how to detect a phishing scheme and monitoring your credit are wise practices in protecting your data.

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About the Author

Ted Clouser