By ALLEN MCQUISTON
The Jemez Agency
Capital One announced recently that a hacker had accessed the personal information of 100 million individuals in the United States and 6 million in Canada that had applied for credit with the Virginia-based bank.
The affected information includes credit scores, linked bank account numbers, Social Security numbers and additional information that was provided at the time of credit application.
With the full scope of this breach still unfolding, here are some immediate steps you can take to protect your identity:
- Consider placing a credit freeze on your files to make it difficult for someone to open a new account in your name;
- Check your credit reports. Identify what information it contained and look for any unusual activity that could indicate identity theft;
- Pay extra attention to your account and billing statements. Check for unauthorized charges;
- Change all user access credentials. If you use the same passwords for all financial institutions, change them. Watch out for suspicious email, phone and snail-mail scams; and
- Enable text and email alerts and turn on two-factor authentication when possible.
For additional tips and resources, visit www.cyberscout.com/knowledgecenter to learn about the best ways to minimize your risk and help protect your personal information.