Steps to take after a data breach

When your personal information becomes involved in a data leak, you're at an increased risk of identity theft. When you add each of your email addresses to Guardio's Data Breach Monitoring service, Guardio shows all known data leaks associated with those email addresses.

Guardio alerted me of a breached account. What's next?

  1. Change Your Password For the Breached Account.
    Do this first, and make sure you choose a strong password that others can't easily guess. Focus on creating long passwords with both upper and lower case letters and numbers and special characters. These are the toughest for hackers to guess. How to Create a Strong Password that You Will Remember.

    If you plan to close your account with the breached service, it is still vital that you change the password first to ensure a hacker doesn't reactivate the account without your consent.

  2. Change Your Password for any Website where you used the Same or a Similar Password.
    While you should never use the same password for multiple accounts, we realize it still happens. When one account becomes breached, any accounts that use the same password or a similar password are at increased risk of compromise.

  3. Check Other Accounts for Signs of Unauthorized Access.
    Once a hacker has your email address or password, they have 50% of the information they need to access your other accounts. If you used the same password for another account, they're incredibly likely to be affected as well. If you aren't sure where to start, use this order of priority:

      • Your email account(s) - when you forget your password, most sites send your password reset link to your email account. Unauthorized access to your email account provides unlimited unauthorized access to any account linked to that email address.
      • Online Banking, Credit Cards, and Loan websites
      • Websites where your card information is stored (Amazon, grocery delivery services, utilities you pay online, any other site where you enter card information)

  4. Accept the Breached Company's Offer to Help.
    Following a data breach, most companies offer help to repair the damage and protect you for a set amount of time. This offer to help might include compensation for time and money spent attempting to repair the damage yourself, a subscription to a credit monitoring service, or any other reparation deemed necessary to minimize the damage to your personal information.
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