Four ways to help protect yourself in a data breach

Have you been told your personal information, or your credit card number, was stolen in a data breach? While this doesn’t mean you will definitely be a victim of identity theft, the reality is a large number of UK businesses suffer a breach or attack every year.

Here are four ways to protect yourself if you become a victim.

Change all affected passwords

If you find out your details have been stolen in a data breach, change your password immediately. The same goes for any other accounts using the same password. Always use strong and unique passwords and set up two-factor authentication if you can.

Check your bank account

Log in to online banking and check you recognise all payments. If any seem unfamiliar, or you think someone might have unauthorised access to your account, contact your bank. Also, ask them to set up any alert features they offer. These can usually tell you when a large payment has gone through or if you’re in your overdraft, helping to protect you from fraud.

Check your credit report

Checking your credit report can help you identify any unusual activity, such as new accounts, new personal information or searches on your account. If you would like to keep a closer eye on your credit score, you can also get a free Experian Credit Score, which will be updated once every 30 days when you sign in.

Beware phishing scams

Criminals may try to trick people into revealing their information following a data breach. Remember that no bank or any other genuine organisation will ask you to reveal your PIN or banking password in full. These scams can come in the form of phone calls or emails and are usually unsolicited. Phishing messages tend to be from suspicious email addresses, from a service you didn’t sign up for or have unusual attachments. If you suspect it’s phishing, delete it and report it to the relevant organisation.