The recent news of data breach at Barnes & Noble should come as a surprise to no one given the many recent headlines of similar data security and privacy failures. It happens with such regularity, that some people seem to have given up trying to keep track of what compromising data of theirs has been leaked.
In recognition of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we’ve already highlighted some of the best practices you should employ to protect yourself online. However, even when you follow all the guidelines and adhere to a strict data security regimen, the truth is that you’re still at the whim of a host of actors you have no control over. Major firms like Target, Home Depot, Garmin, Equifax, and now Barnes & Noble have lost their customers’ data, and while the measures outlined in our last post about cyber security can limit the damage, you’ll still be losing personal data to the far corners of the dark web. Now the question is, what do you do after the breach?
We’ve put together a few simple steps that you should follow after you hear that your data may have been compromised:
- Determine your risk. Maybe they lost your purchase history for a couple of Snickers bars and Gatorade. Maybe they lost your credit card information and your prescription history. What’s been stolen matters.
- Keep tabs on your finances. Check your statements. Check your credit report. Make sure nothing suspicious is afoot and know your rights: if you’re a victim of fraud or identity theft you can put a temporary freeze on your credit report for additional security.
- Get professional help. If you think you’re at high-risk, employ a professional service to keep a lookout for you and monitor activity on your accounts.
- Contact banks and other groups. If the data that’s leaked could be compromising to your financial well-being or your literal well-being (health data should be private!), let the relevant parties know to be on the lookout.
- Change passwords if necessary. If you followed our advice from the last post, you won’t have any accounts that share a password… but just in case you’ve reused any passwords… and we’re not pointing fingers, but… just make sure.
- Look for additional resources. If the business is responsible for your data loss, they will provide services that may help you in the future. Take advantage!
Marketing Communications Specialist