Fraud Friday: What to Do If You’re Involved in a Data Breach

Feb 16, 2024 | General News

Many of us have received one of those emails or have heard about it on the news–yet another company involved in a data breach. Unfortunately, as technology improves, so do the bad guys. Cyberattacks are consistently on the rise, making it more important than ever to know the steps to take if your personal information is compromised in a data breach.

Luckily your friends here at Guthrie County State Bank have your back! On this Fraud Friday, we’ve compiled a few easy steps to help navigate through the stressful situation of data breaches.

1. Keep Calm and Act Swiftly
The first, and maybe most important, step is to remain calm. There’s no need to panic. Just focus on the actions you can take and do them as soon as possible. Time is of the essence when responding to a data breach. The sooner you take action, the better chance you have of minimizing the damage!

2. Change Your Passwords
If passwords were involved in the breach (they often are), change them immediately. Create unique passwords for each of your accounts to prevent further unauthorized access. Need help crafting a strong password? We’ve got you.

3. Monitor Your Accounts
Keep an extra close eye on your bank statements, credit reports, and any other financial information for signs of fraud. Report anything suspicious to your financial institution right away.

4. Freeze Your Credit
Another precaution you can take is freezing your credit, which is free and easy. Simply reach out to the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to request the freeze. Even if hackers have your personal information, they won’t be able to open new accounts with your frozen credit. You can unfreeze your credit whenever you need to.

5. Check For Updates
Stay up-to-date on the latest developments of the data breach. Many companies affected by data breaches know the severity of the issue and are diligent about providing updates and new information. Check their website and your inbox for any communications.

6. Be Aware of Scams
Unfortunately, one form of fraud can easily lead to another. Data breaches often attract scammers looking to exploit the situation. Be cautious of unsolicited emails, phone calls, or messages claiming to be related to the breach. Unsure of a phone call’s legitimacy? Hang up and call the company directly at their trusted phone number.

7. Seek Support
Dealing with a data breach can be stressful! Don’t hesitate to reach out to friends, family, or a professional for support. If you are feeling especially overwhelmed or concerned, consider visiting IdentityTheft.gov. This is a government website that can help you further assess the data breach and the possibility of identity theft.

Being affected by a data breach can be scary but remember it is not a reflection of your actions. It’s one of the consequences of the ever-evolving digital landscape we live in today. By staying informed and being proactive, you can minimize the impact of data breaches and prevent yourself from future threats.

Stay vigilant, stay safe, and remember that Guthrie County State Bank is here to support you every step of the way! Come back again for more Fraud Friday tips and insights from GCSB, where your financial safety is our #1 priority.