HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF IN A DATA BREACH IF YOUR BANK GETS HACKED

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Events like the recent Capital One breach or the broader Equifax hack in 2017 can leave you feeling vulnerable and helpless — and rightfully so. It’s one thing to have your Facebook or Twitter account compromised, but being the victim of a financial institution getting hacked adds a whole new level of distress.

Our bank accounts hold some of our most personal information such as social security numbers, our credit and debit card numbers, where we live and our financial records.

When someone has all of your private information, it’s natural to feel like there’s nothing you can do to prevent any further damage. But that’s not the case — there’s a lot you can do to make sure your credit, identity and online accounts remain yours.

Temporarily freeze your credit

One of the first things you should do is put a freeze on your credit. Doing so will prevent anyone with your information from opening a line of credit, or taking out any loans under your name. Freezing your credit won’t take long, you’ll just need to fill out a form for Equifax, Experian, and Transunion to make the request.

The downside to freezing your credit is that when you want to make a purchase, such as upgrading your iPhone through a payment plan, you’ll need to go through the process of briefly removing your credit freeze — and then freezing it again once you’re done.

Next, monitor your credit

Staying on top of what’s on your credit report is an easy way to make sure someone isn’t using your information nefariously. Some companies offer free credit monitoring to victims of a data breach, but often times that’s only temporary.

Credit monitoring services help you watch your credit report, where you can hopefully catch false accounts as soon as they happen.

CNET