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In the wake of the recent Capital One hack that went public, you might be concerned about the safety of your information online. It’s something you probably don’t think about enough – what happens when you’ve been hacked? What are the immediate steps you should take? Security expert Daniel Tobok from Cytelligence Inc. has the answers to these questions and more so that, if you’re ever faced with your information being stolen online, you can act quickly and efficiently to minimize any damage that might be done.

How will you know?

When a major hack occurs like the Capital One breach, it is widely reported in the media. You can check on the affected service’s website to see if you were affected, but you might as well assume that you were. The only upside is that you’re one among millions, so the hackers may never get around to messing with your details. Your antivirus is not likely to provide any protection against a security breach happening on a remote server.

Your first indication a hacker has compromised your credit card may be unexpected items on your bill. Card thieves will occasionally put through a few small purchases, just to make sure the card is OK, before making a big purchase. An identity thief can also use your personal information to open credit accounts, accounts you know nothing about. You might only find out when a merchant slams the door on your request to open a new line of credit yourself.

What should you do?

1. Get credit monitoring

Make sure you have credit monitoring. When the bad guys get access to your data, they have your first and last name, and all your private info. You want to make sure the bad guys aren’t making fake identities. Credit monitoring will help you prevent phishing by implementing strategies to ensure that nothing gets out of hand. In most cases, when an organization gets breached, they actually volunteer credit monitoring. If you are seeing something out of the ordinary, they can quickly deal with it.

2. Monitor all your financial statements

Be cognizant of your financial statements from ALL your credit card providers- you need to monitor ALL, not just the one that has been breached. Be diligent!

3. Be diligent about scams

You will get a lot of emails, phone calls, and scams the moment your info gets compromised, so it’s important to be diligent. In the first 12 months, all of these scams will be on the rise for you, so make sure to ask – is this e-mail real?

4. Verify the information you receive

Call the organization and verify that this is real, but not by calling the number that came with the e-mail or text that you received. Take the time to go to the organization’s official channels and contact customer support through there.

These scams are professional, and it’s easy to be fooled even if you feel you are savvy to this type of thing. These are sophisticated operators, real organized crime. They will even ask you to take a customer survey after a phone call, to make it seem very real. They know all the tricks to fool you.

How do you recover?

Bad guys use social engineering to get you, they create custom malware to attack you, and antivirus may not be equipped to protect against every possible way you could be attacked. You can’t necessarily count on an antivirus to do the job for you of being diligent. Depending on what type of attack you have undergone it may be necessary to update your computer and devices with the latest security update.