And while there is ongoing discussion about why so many retailers are being hit by these high-tech hackers — and what needs to be done to put an end to it — for consumers, the most important thing is protecting our personal information.
So what should we do?
Here are five tips from the Better Business Bureau:
- Contact the organization that suffered the breach – they should have a hot line setup to address your concerns and answer your questions.
- Monitor your banking and credit statements closely – Check every item on your bank statements and credit card statements to be sure they are legitimate charges and expenditures.
- Contact any affected financial companies – If your bank accounts, credit card accounts, or investment accounts are affected, immediately contact the companies and request that the account be closed and a new one opened.
- File a fraud alert with all three credit reporting agencies – The credit reporting agencies are required by law to flag your credit report for 90 days if you file a fraud alert. Then if someone tries to open a new account using your information you should be contacted for verification.
- Sign up for any free credit report monitoring that’s offered. – If the company that compromised your information offers a free monitoring program take advantage of it [One credit report provider is www.annualcreditreport.com].