Steps to take after a data breach

Data leaks or security breaches can lead to identity theft, fraud, or unauthorized access to your medical and financial information. Luckily, there are many ways to resolve any threats to your privacy.

You will need to take action based on the type of threats you encounter. The first and immediate step is to identify the type of attack that occurred and which aspects of your personal information were potentially compromised.

Username

If your username was involved in a data breach, any other services that you used the same username and password combination are now at risk of unauthorized access.

  • Change your password for the breached account.
  • Change your password for other accounts where you used the same (or similar) password.
  • Use different passwords (consider using a password manager to help remember multiple passwords).

Name

Identity thieves may use your name and address in addition to other personal information to hack into accounts. However, it's important to mention that all of us have our names public at some point, so we should always be vigilant. Just make sure to keep an eye on your online accounts and finances for any unusual behavior.

Password

If your password was involved in a data breach, any other services that you used with the same username and password combination could be at risk.

  • Change your password for the breached account.
  • Use two-factor authentication for an added layer of security for any account that provides the option.
  • If you use the same password for other websites, change your password for those services as well. 

Note: We always recommend you use different passwords for different sites. One of the best practices is to use random passwords managed by a good password manager. 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.

Email

When your email address is involved in a leak, you're likely to receive more spam and phishing emails than you did before the leak. This is because your email address is now available for anyone to see on the dark web. Criminals can use emails for phishing schemes to gain access to your information.

Make sure to keep an eye on your online accounts and finances for any unusual behavior. Do not send personal or sensitive information by email. 

Bank Account

Here are some steps you can take to help protect yourself if your bank account was compromised:

  • Check your bank statements.
  • Never reveal the PIN (personal identification number) of your debit or credit card in an email or over the phone.
  • Don't give personal information to strangers over the phone or by email.
  • When asked for your Social Security number or other sensitive information, make sure you know who wants the information and why.
  • Be cautious about email attachments and "free" software.
  • Never use any portion of your Social Security number as your PIN.
  • Carefully think before you download apps, click on links, or respond to emails that might be harmful or fraudulent.

CVV or CVC

Here are some next steps to help protect yourself if you received a Dark Web Notification that included your Credit Card CVV or CCV:

  • Block and replace the specific card.
  • Inform your financial institution if you find any suspicious activity.

Protection from Guardio

While we can't prevent company breaches, our Identity monitoring will notify you in real-time so you'll be able to take actions immediately. Follow these instructions to monitor each of your addresses with our Identity monitoring feature. 

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