A massive data breach hit Capital One. Digital privacy expert Daniel Markuson shares the most essential steps consumers can take to keep themselves safer.
On Monday, it was announced that a data breach of Capital One compromised the personal information of approximately 100 million consumers in the United States and 6 million consumers in Canada. It is said to be one of the top 10 largest data breaches ever.
The bank announced that in addition to the credit card application data, portions of credit card customer data were also obtained, including credit scores, limits, balances, payment history, transaction data, and contact information. Stolen data also included 140,000 Social Security numbers, 80,000 linked bank account numbers.
What to do if your account gets compromised
NordVPN’s digital privacy expert Daniel Markuson shares the most essential steps consumers can take to keep themselves safer.
Get back into your account
The first important step is to log into your online account and change the password immediately. Go through the privacy settings and check if you can make your account more secure. Invoke all recommended security settings.
It is as well advised to sign up for email or text alerts about your monetary transactions.
Freeze your credit
The best way to protect yourself is to freeze your credit. This makes it very difficult to open new accounts in your name, even if someone is using your stolen financial information. It is important to note, that credit freeze doesn’t influence your score.
With credit freeze invoked – most creditors will decline to open a new account as they will not be able to check your credit history.
Place a fraud alert and check credit reports
If freezing your credit is not an option for you – contact one of the credit bureauses and invoke a fraud alert. Fraud alerts flag creditors and they verify your identity before issuing new credit in your name. Such alerts usually last for a year but can be renewed.
Capital One said that they “will make free credit monitoring and identity protection available to everyone affected.” Check for credit inquiries, balances, and new accounts that you haven’t opened or applied for.
Check credit card statements
It is very important to regularly check your credit card statements online, even if you think that your data hasn’t been affected by the breach. If you see any strange activities on your balance – try to recall whether you authorized the charge. If you can’t recall it, inform your bank and the merchant immediately.
Make sure to keep all your documentation, such as order confirmation numbers or receipts.
Beware of phishing scams
Since hackers may have detailed information on more than 100 million individuals, there might be a spike in more personalized phishing scams. Such scams are usually very effective as criminals use a piece of real information, for example, your name and address.
Personalized phishing messages are designed to look as if they are coming from a legitimate bank or other familiar organization. Be vigilant and contact the organization before clicking on any links, filling in forms or transferring funds. For additional safety, use a VPN, like NordVPN, when browsing.
Report unusual activities
And finally, if you notice something unusual – report the incident to the authorities. Raising the alarm can help not only you, but others affected by the breach as well.
NordVPN is the world’s most advanced VPN service provider that is more security oriented than most VPN services. It offers double VPN encryption, malware blocking & Onion Over VPN. The product is very user-friendly, offers one of the best prices on the market, has over 5,000 servers worldwide and is P2P-friendly. One of the key features of NordVPN is zero log policy. For more information: nordvpn.com.
For America’s youth, hearing loss is a growing epidemic. “As many as 16% of teens (ages 12 to 19) have reported some hearing loss that could have been caused by loud noise,” according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
The driving force of this growth is that 50% of teens and young adults age 12-35 are exposed to unsafe levels of sound from their personal music players. To put that in perspective, that amounts to roughly 1.1 billion teens and young adults worldwide that are listening to their music at unsafe sound levels.
Why does Puro Sound Labs care so much about Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)?
In 2014 Puro Sound Labs founder, Dave Russell, learned that his youngest daughter, Niki, had developed Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). The doctors told them the culprit was on her head every day…her headphones.
We’ve heard the problem.
After Niki’s diagnosis, Dave scoured the market, searching for headphones for all ages that would protect against this extremely preventable condition. He couldn’t find one brand of safe headphones that would sound good, look good and be durable enough for a kid’s lifestyle.
So, utilizing a background in the tech industry, Dave made some in 2014 – but not just any headphone – the Puro BT2200 Kids Bluetooth Headphones…the world’s only studio-grade Bluetooth headphone that puts the safety of kid’s ears first. Headquartered in sunny San Diego, California, Puro has dedicated their time and research in designing a product you, your family and your readers will love and enjoy for years to come. Puro’s mission is to protect kids against preventable Noise-Induced Hearing Loss without compromising style or sound…and have them enjoy it at the same time.
Over the past 4 years the BT2200 headphones have earned numerous awards and the highest praise for not only their protection, but also their sound quality. To make an even better kid’s headphone, Puro Sound Labs has recently launched their PuroQuiet Kid’s headphone with Active Noise Cancelling. ANC even further reduces background sounds in noisy environments. Puro has even made the PuroCalm earmuffs, for those times when listeners just want less sound overall.
Puro Sound Labs is now proud to partner with KultureCity, an organization that provides sensory-inclusive spaces and universal accessibility for children with disabilities.
For every pair of PuroCalm’s purchased, Puro Sound will donate a pair to the KultureCity Sensory Inclusive program, allowing individuals with autism and other sensory needs the ability to see and experience all the things the world has to offer without the sensory overload that often comes with the experience. Puro Sound Labs headphones are featured in all of KultureCity’s sensory initiatives, including at over 150 major sports arenas, zoos, schools and theaters, thus enabling autistic individuals a chance to cope with sensory sensitivities that so commonly interfere with their daily lives.
In addition, the partnership will feature a global social campaign and looks to join forces with celebrities, influencers and companies that are equally interesting in shifting the autism conversation from awareness to acceptance…and provide safe listening devices from Puro Sound Labs to autistic children around the globe. This first ever, large-scale campaign will represent a positive reflection of autism aimed at gaining acceptance and inclusion within the community at large.
We live in times when it’s become easier than ever for hackers to breach an organization through social engineering. Breaches are primarily caused by phishing attacks, representing a huge security problem for businesses.
But why is this type of cybercriminal so widely represented in the statistics? What is it that makes it so easy and so profitable for hackers? We might not like the answers. The ever-increasing connectivity and focus on people and data is leaving us vulnerable to malicious attacks. To protect your business, you need to start thinking like a hacker. Let’s take a look at how they infiltrate big business and what can be done about it.
How Social Engineering Works
Since social engineering relies on personal information hackers can find online, it’s pretty difficult to counter. Before; that required some digging on the hacker’s part – now all it takes is a data-matching service like Spokeo and PeekYou, and they get all the information they might need and more. Cross-matching public records is one thing, but employees also freely share a lot of information on social media. This personal info is then used to target employees within a company with malicious emails, by posing as a trusted individual. From there, all a hacker needs to do is convince an employee to click on a malicious link or perform a wire transfer.
Are Individual Threats the Same as Company Threats?
As we can see, cybercriminals can efficiently use your social media information to reach their desired target within your company. Does that mean company executives should stop using social media altogether, or ban their employees from sharing any work-related information?
The short answer is yes. The long answer, if not “yes,” is that there should be strict policies in place about the use of social networks and what can and can’t be shared. For example, if a company executive posts about being on a business trip, hackers take that as a signal to try and perform BEC. Anything an employee posts about work projects or people they spend time with inthe office can help cybercriminals construct an elaborate and believable social engineering scam. It is why every employee must assume the whole world is watching them when they want to post anything work-related on social media.
The frequency of Social Engineering and Phishing
It’s no accident that social engineering and phishing attacks are responsible for 95 percent of data breaches. They exploit what will always be the weak link in any company’s security chain – the people who work there. Relying on traditional protective measures such as firewall, antivirus, anti-spoofing techniques, etc. cannot stop all of these attacks. Education is vital for prevention, but with these scams getting more elaborate and difficult to spot, it doesn’t ensure safety.
What Can Protect Your Business?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you didn’t have to worry about phishing? Good news, the worrying stops today. It seems challenging to prevent phish, but Area 1 Security offers an Anti-Phishing Service that finds and eliminates phish through a combination of web crawling and small pattern analytics. With Area 1 Horizon, your business will be safe, and you won’t be adding to the pool of $5.3 billion in losses due to phishing attacks last year.
With the ever-increasing focus on people and data, businesses are leaving themselves wide open to hackers. In those circumstances, there are two options – limiting the information hackers can get about you through social media, or investing in preemptive and comprehensive phishing protection. At Area 1 Security, we stop phishing for good.