Have you received a data breach notification letter? Did you recently get a notice that says your personal information was exposed or compromised in a data breach? 

Victims of a data breach or other cybersecurity incident should be aware that depending on what information was exposed to unauthorized access during a data breach or hacking incident, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself from identity theft.

What information was identified in the data breach notification letter as lost, exposed or potentially subject to unauthorized access? 

Social Security number

If a company responsible for exposing your information offers you free credit monitoring, take advantage of it.

Get your free credit reports from annualcreditreport.com. Check for any accounts or charges you don’t recognize.

Consider placing a free credit freeze. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name.

  • If you place a freeze, be ready to take a few extra steps the next time you apply for a new credit card or cell phone – or any service that requires a credit check.
  • If you decide not to place a credit freeze, at least consider placing a fraud alert.

Online login or password

Log in to that account and change your password. If possible, also change your username.

  • If you can’t log in, contact the company and ask them how you can recover or shut down the account.

If you use the same password anywhere else, change it.

Is it a financial site, or is your credit card number stored? Check your account for any charges that you don’t recognize.

Debit or credit card number

Contact your bank or credit card company to cancel your card and request a new one.

Review your transactions regularly, and make sure no one misused your card.

  • If you find fraudulent charges, call the fraud department and get them removed.

If you have automatic payments set up, update them with your new card number.

Check your credit report at annualcreditreport.com.

Bank account information

Contact your bank to close the account and open a new one.

Review your transactions regularly to make sure no one misused your account.

  • If you find fraudulent charges or withdrawals, call the fraud department and get them removed.

If you have automatic payments set up, update them with your new bank account information.

Check your credit report at annualcreditreport.com

Driver’s license information

Contact your nearest motor vehicles branch to report a lost or stolen driver’s license. The state might flag your license number in case someone else tries to use it, or they might suggest that you apply for a duplicate.

Check your credit report at annualcreditreport.com.

Your child’s personal information

Request a free credit freeze for your child. A credit freeze will make it difficult for someone to use your child’s information to open accounts. To place a freeze, follow the specific instructions for each credit bureau:

Generally, children won’t have credit reports, unless someone is using their information for fraud. To find out if your child has a credit report, ask each credit bureau to check its records. Each bureau has specific instructions for these requests:

If a credit bureau has a credit report for your child, the credit bureau will send you a copy of the report. Use the instructions provided with the credit report to remove fraudulent accounts.

Review the FTC’s information on Child Identity Theft.

What can you do if someone is using your information to open new accounts or make unauthorized purchases?

You can report Identity Theft to the FTC by CLICKING HERE. With the information you provide, the FTC can create an FTC Identity Theft Report and a Recovery Plan.

Source: Identitytheft.gov. (Last accessed 04.04.2022).

Have You Been Harmed As A Result Of A Data Breach Which Has Exposed Your Private Personal, Protected Health Or Personally Identifiable Information?

If you have experienced actual or attempted harm or been the victim of fraud due to the illegal or unauthorized exposure of your private personal, protected health or personally identifiable information, please contact Kehoe Law Firm, P.C., [email protected], for a free, confidential consultation and no-obligation evaluation of potential legal claims.