Cyber-attacks happen. However, after a data breach, there are some things you can do to reduce damage and any further risk.
It happened again. You’re scrambling to stay ahead of the bad actors after another large web provider lost control of its database. Data breaches, as much as we despise them, are unavoidable. The good news is that they don’t have to provoke so much fear, regardless of how sensitive the stolen data is. After a data breach, there are five risk-reducing steps you can take to reduce your chances of further exposure.
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Step 1: After a data breach, determine the extent of the damage.
The first step is to determine what the hackers took.
The leak should be very obvious from company statements or news articles. Was it only your email address, or did it include your password information as well? What about credit cards, if any? Additionally, was any personal information such as private messages taken?
This is the first stage in building an effective recovery plan. However, there’s a crucial follow-up question to ask before you take any action.
Step 2: Will the hackers be able to use any of your information?
Hackers steal data all the time. However, thanks to security methods like “hashing,” “encrypted,” and “salted,” the stolen data is often unusable.
Therefore, if the data is in the form of “clear text,” it indicates there is no encryption. As a result, it is as easy to manipulate as an email message or a Word document.
Hashing data, on the other hand, jumbles information to the point where it can no longer be put back into plain text. Password databases, for example, frequently use hashing.
However, not all hashing methods are equal, and some are reversible. A corporation may salt or randomize data, as a second line of security to make decoding more difficult.
The bottom line with hashing is that you’ll need to go a little deeper to see if the organization thinks the data is usable.
Finally, encryption is a two-way scrambling method. It only permits the decoding of the data by someone who has the “key.” This is typically a password file. Therefore, even if hackers have access to hashed or encrypted data, firms may encourage you to change your password anyway, just to be safe.
Step 3: After a data breach, replace the java binary password data breach code monitor screen with a new one.
Be proactive if you need to update your password.
Furthermore, it’s wise to change your password right after a data breach rather than waiting for a warning letter from the organization.
Therefore, if you’ve been using the same password on other websites, you should change it now.
In addition, if you reuse passwords, a single data leak can potentially bring down other accounts. That is something you can prevent with better password protocol.
3a Step: Make the switch to a password manager.
If you haven’t already, this is an excellent opportunity to start using a password manager. These tools can generate new, difficult-to-guess passwords.
In addition, they will save them for all of your internet accounts. They also encrypt your passwords and make them available across all of your devices.
Step 3b: Use 2FA to provide an extra layer of security.
Passwords aren’t enough anymore. This is why enabling two-factor authentication on any of your accounts is a good idea.
Then, even if someone hacks the password, two-factor authentication means your web service will demand a supplementary, six-digit code before granting access to your account.
This is an excellent method for slowing down hackers. It has the same impact on you, unfortunately. Therefore, most services only ask for a 2FA code once every 30 days per device.
As a result, it’s not too bad. Using an app for generating these codes is the ideal approach to employing two-factor authentication.
Step 3c: Make a separate password recovery email.
Many websites allow you to create a second recovery email address from your main account email address. Therefore, when you click the “Forgot password?” link on a website, you’ll receive an email with links to reset your password.
It’s ideal to have a separate email address for account recovery emails. It should be one that doesn’t link to your identity.
For example, if your Gmail address is JMathews, don’t have [email protected] as your recovery email. Hackers can target your regular email address if you use it for account recovery. In addition, if they corrupt it, they can take over your online life.
Therefore, make sure your recovery email account has a strong password. In addition, make sure it has two-factor authentication, just like any other email account.
Step 4: After a data breach, contact your credit card company.
You must notify your bank or credit card issuer if your credit card number has been hacked.
However, it’s likely that your bank already knows about the breach if it was a particularly massive one. Nevertheless, it’s still a good idea to notify them.
In addition, make sure you speak with a representative. Personally, inform them of the situation. As a result, your card will most likely be canceled and replaced by the company.
If a debit card number has been taken, this step is much more critical. Not only does this mean that any bad charge will result in cash leaving your account, but debit cards also lack the same recovery safeguards as credit cards.
Step 4a: Contact the credit bureaus and take action.
Place a fraud warning on your credit report with Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
In addition, you may even take things a step further and place a free credit freeze on your records. This stops anyone from using your social security number or name to register an account.
Furthermore, after a data breach, it’s wise to use your entitlement to a free annual credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies. You may keep track of your credit rating throughout the year by staggering the reports, doing one every four months.
Step 5: After a data breach, consider burner cards.
Another smart strategy is to utilize limited-use burner debit cards. These link to your bank account but aren’t your regular debit cards.
This is possible thanks to Privacy.com, and it’s a terrific approach to secure oneself. Therefore, instead of using your actual card number, you can utilize burner cards.
For a big transaction, you can even get a one-time-use card. It’s a pretty useful service. This is because you can simply delete your burner card and start over if it ever leaks.