What To Do After an Identity Theft

Whether your home computer has been hacked or infected with a virus, your credit card number stolen or a third party with your information has been breached, cyber theft continues to be a problem. It seems like every day brings a story of a new data breach.

What you do immediately following a data theft is important. Here are five tips from Grange Insurance on what you should do after learning about a potential identity theft:

1. Breathe and read.
The first step is to not panic. That may sound counterintuitive, but the best thing you can do is take a deep breath and thoroughly read the letter. The letter will explain what information is at risk, how the breach occurred and how you can get more information. When you’ve finished reading it over, keep it in a safe place in case you ever need to prove that your data was exposed.

2. Contact financial institutions.
Let your bank, mortgage lender and other financial organizations know that your data has been compromised. This way, they can keep an eye out for suspicious activity.

3. Monitor billing and financial statements.
It’s important that you’re on the lookout for fraudulent activity, too. Your bank or credit card provider may have text or email alerts to help you monitor your account, but be sure to check your statements regularly. And don’t just look for big withdrawals. Small purchases could be criminals seeing what they can get away with.

4. Check your credit report.
You can get a free credit report once per year. So after about 30 days, request your copy and check for anything suspicious. If you would like some extra protection, you may want to sign up for a credit monitoring service. While this typically comes at a cost, the business that exposed your data may offer these services for free in response to the breach.

5. Change your passwords.
In case the cyber criminals are in your online accounts or got a hold of the information that could give them access, change your passwords. Plus, it’s a good practice to update your passwords every 90 days. Be sure to include numbers, symbols and uppercase and lowercase letters in your new passwords.

If you have any questions about cyber theft and whether you have coverage on your homeowners policy, Contact Us today for a free consultation.