As I'm sure you've heard by now, there was a Cyber Security breach at Capital One which affected over 100 million individuals. Most of the information stolen was names, addresses, credit scores, balances, zip codes, email address, and dates of birth. However there was also around 140,000 Social Security numbers and around 80,000 bank account numbers exposed. If you applied for a Capital One credit card personally or for your business between 2005 and 2019 then you were probably impacted.
Here are three tips about what to do now:
- Freeze your credit. I've recommended credit freezes before following the Equifax breach. You can read that blog post here. Although the process of freezing your credit has become easier at most bureaus since my last post, it will still take a good deal of organization and work to freeze and unfreeze your credit. However, the work involved in freezing and unfreezing your credit pales in comparison to the work and possible cost if someone opens a fraudulent account in your name.
- Change your passwords. Often during these breaches passwords are obtained. Although this doesn't seem to be case for the Capital One breach, it's still good practice. Especially considering that most people use the same passwords on multiple sites and that some of the most common passwords are "123456" and "password."
- Set up two-factor identification. Set this up everywhere (email, bank accounts, social medial, Apple/Google accounts, retail shopping sites like Amazon, subscription accounts, password managers, etc). Two-factor means that someone not only needs to know your password, but they would also need to be in possession of your phone to receive a code to log in. Generally, once two factor is set up, you will not need to enter the code again unless you (or someone pretending to be you) logs on from a different computer. I also wrote about two-factor authentication in a prior blog post that you can access here.
Capital One was the most recent cyber security incident but I am certain that it will not be the last. Let's plan ahead to keep your credit and wealth safe.
Breakwater Financial, LLC is a registered investment advisor. The content of this blog post is for informational and educational purposes only and is not to be considered investment advice. If you have any questions regarding this Blog Post, please contact us.