How to Handle a Data Breach

The possibility of hackers gaining access to your information is unsettling. To actually learn that you have been hacked and your information is in the hands of nefarious individuals will nearly drive you insane. So, what should you do when this happens?

What You Need to Do First

If the organization that holds your personal data is compromised, you must act quickly and take certain steps.

  • Seek confirmation that a breach has indeed occurred, and your information is at risk
  • Identify the type of breach that has occurred
  • Confirm what information (if any) has been compromised
  • Find out if the hackers with your data have personal identifiable information (PII)

What actions should you take at every step? Read on for tips on how to respond every step of the way.

Response to Data Breach

Confirm the Breach and Whether Your Data is Exposed

You do not want to panic based on a possible rumor. The first thing you should do is confirm that a breach has actually occurred. You may even receive an email or some form of correspondence informing you that there is a breach.

This information could be sent by a scammer posing as the company that has been attacked. They may ask for more of your personal information with the excuse that they will fix the problem for you. Do not fall for this.

Instead, visit the company’s website or call them to confirm. While you are it, ask them if your information has been exposed to risk.

Confirm the Type of Information That Has Been Compromised

Once you have confirmed that there was a breach, you need to find out what type of data is at risk. This is important because you need to figure out whether the stolen data can be canceled and replaced.

If your Social Security number has is in the hands of hackers, they can do a lot more damage that they can with your credit card information. You can always cancel credit cards and replace them.

Take up the Company’s Offer to Help

Should the company offer their assistance, take them up on it; they may have great solutions. Moreover, they would want to do everything in their power to upgrade their security and ensure a breach never occurs again. As customer experience becomes the center of every organization, they may offer you services you didn’t know where available before.

Replace Your Passwords

You should get to this immediately. Change all information including login details, security Q&As, and passwords. Avoid using the same info and passwords for every account you have. Make the hacker’s work that much harder when they try to get to you next time.

Monitor Your Accounts Regularly and Closely

With close monitoring, you will notice any irregular activities and take action right away. If your PII was stolen, for instance, you will notice anytime the hacker attempts to use them. They are likely to wait for a while and use them when you have your guard down.