13 On Your Side: Protecting your personal information
Most consumers know to act fast if and when They are the victim of a personal data breach. But what can you do to protect and prepare before that breach even happens?
News 13's Jon Chrisos is on your side with tips to protect your personal information.
With so much of our personal data stored in so many places, breaches have become something every consumer needs to anticipate. The sophistication level of the breaches is getting greater. The sophistication level of the hackers is becoming more pronounced and therefore, sometimes it becomes harder to detect that you're a victim.
So consumer experts like Adam Levin advise having a plan, before a breach occurs. It starts with never using the same password twice -- potentially giving away access to multiple financial, email and social networking accounts, and having your own monitoring system, possibly spotting a breach, before your financial institution.
You can also institute a monitoring philosophy which is, you look at your credit reports, you look at your banking accounts and credit card accounts online, every day to make sure every transaction you make is yours.
Also consider signing up for programs that alert you any time a credit or debit transaction takes place.
And if something looks out of place, even if you haven't officially heard from a website or institution that your information has been compromised -- act fast, to curb potential damage.
Consumer advocates say it's important to always keep an eye on your credit reports. Someone could be using your identity and destroy your credit without you even knowing. You can get one free credit report from the 3 major reporting agencies once a year.
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