Turn on the news and what do you see? Another cyber-attack has taken place. You continue to go about your day but then look down at your cell phone with a call from your bank. Capital One is trying to reach you and informs you that your information was compromised and begin to ask you a few questions. They let you know they will send you an email for you to change your password and update your information but first, they want you to confirm your identity by giving them your social security number. If you agree, you could have just given a hacker your personal information. Hackers capitalize on publicized breaches like the recent Capital One. They will call you and trick you into giving them your personal information and you won’t even know it! Don’t fall victim to this trap anymore.

Top 4 Tips To Help You Avoid This Trap:

*Don’t give out any personal information or details on your identity to someone on the phone. If you ever receive a phone call requesting you to provide personal information, ask for a phone number and website so you can research yourself to make sure this is a valid request and follow up on your own.

*Don’t wait for the credit card company to contact you though! If you hear that your bank or credit card company had a recent breach, research it yourself. See if it has affected you and what steps you need to take. A good habit to form is to check your credit lines with all the bureaus, bank accounts, and credit card accounts on a regular basis.

*If you do have a credit card/debit card that has been breached, make sure you have your credit monitoring services enabled. They might not be looking for your credit card number, but other identifying information to impersonate you.

*Put a security freeze on your credit. This will provide you the most protection against fraud and theft. A security freeze locks your credit scores from anyone requesting it, thus preventing an account being opened or information being accessed. The only downside is you do have to actually contact each of the four credit bureaus to do put the freeze on your credit, but it’s worth the time! Remember that you will need to manually unlock your credit if you go to get a loan or credit card. There can also be a small fee per bureau to do this so check each one as Equifax has a chart on the various fees and state laws. Here are the websites for each credit bureau about freezing your credit:

Equifax – https://www.freeze.equifax.com
Transunion – 
Experian – 
Innovis – 

With the growing increase in these types of breaches, it’s very important you take the steps to monitor your accounts and credit. Your credit is your responsibility and one you should not take lightly. Stay safe and vigilant, it’s a must!