Worried about the Capital One Hack? Here’s what to Do

According to IBM and the Ponemon Institute, 50% of data breaches in the financial sector are caused by malicious or criminal attacks, while 27% results from system glitches and 23% from negligent employees. Organizations are already threatened with this, as well as many other such statistics, and an incident that has recently happened, disturbed us again. And this time, Capital One is the victim.

A data breach to Capital One servers is one of the most threatening incidents that happened recently. This renowned financial corporation has announced that 106 million individuals holding a Capital One card or who had applied for a Capital One card, had their personal and “protected” data breached.

Recently, Capital One disclosed that over 100 million individuals that had applied for credit had their information compromised. Among those, 140,000 had their social security number stolen, and about 80,000 had their linked bank account information swiped. The FBI arrested the one they believe is responsible, and it turns out this individual was an AWS engineer that exploited a firewall vulnerability.

Are you holding a Capital One card or have applied for credit from Capital One?


Follow the below crucial steps to avoid any financial loss:

1. Freeze your credit


Security experts are unanimous that a credit freeze is an essential step to protecting your data and halts scammers from creating fake accounts in your name.
Freezing your credit at the three credit reporting bureaus is now free, and can be done online or over the phone. You’ll need your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, and other personal information, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Each credit bureau will give you a PIN, which you can then use to lift your freeze when you need to apply for credit, such as a mortgage or a car loan or a new credit card.

The three credit reporting agencies are Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.

“This is the best way to prevent a criminal from opening an unauthorized account in your name. Security experts note that a freeze is much more effective than a fraud alert. Credit freezes don’t affect your credit score, but they prevent loans and other services from being opened in your name without your consent. A fraud alert is simply a red flag alerting companies to the fact you may have been the victim of fraud.

2. Enable two-factor authentication


Adding an extra layer of security to your logins can help prevent scammers from gaining access to your accounts. The most common form of two-factor authentication is when a business texts you a one-time code that enables you to access your account.
That means a hacker would need to have access to your mobile phone as well as your account information to gain access to your accounts.

3. Sign up for credit monitoring


These services can help you keep close tabs on your accounts, alerting you if someone opens an unauthorized account in your name or even another family member’s name. Some sites offer free access to credit monitoring, such as Wallet Hub’s free monitoring of TransUnion credit accounts. However, the most thorough credit-monitoring services generally will cost you anywhere from $10 to $30 a month, according to CBS partner site CNET.

Due to a reported breach of the Equifax credit bureau, many consumers can take advantage of the Equifax settlement and sign up for free credit monitoring this week, but experts say it’s not clear when that will actually kick in. “The settlement with Equifax is pending so there’s no guarantee about when that will take effect until we see something that says, ‘On this date, you will receive your award,” said Charity Lacey, vice president of communications for the Identity Theft Resource Center.

4. Don’t get phished


We have discussed phishing in-depth as it is one of the most common ways cybercriminals will attempt to obtain your data. Ignore unsolicited requests for information, which could be phishing attempts, or when hackers pretend to be a trusted company or individual. If you haven’t asked to be contacted and not expecting the communication, don’t respond to the email. Check with the organization or individual and verify validity if you feel it’s necessary. Otherwise, ignore and delete.
Capital One is asking that consumers who believe they receive a fraudulent email seeking their data forward the email to abuse@capitalone.com. After forwarding the email, the company recommends deleting it.

5. Change your passwords regularly


You can also protect yourself by taking a step that most don’t follow: Changing their passwords. And of course, too many individuals continue to use easy-to-guess passwords like “123456”.
Use a password aggregator such as LastPass to ensure secure, unique passwords for all of your logins. More than 8 in 10 U.S. adults re-use passwords, which is a significant security vulnerability.

If you are notified or think your information was affected, consider the following:


  1. Immediately change your passwords
  2. Monitor your bank and credit accounts for malicious activity
  3. As stated earlier, take advantage of free credit monitoring services.
  4. Know the warning signs that your information has been compromised
    • Withdrawals and/or charges on your accounts that you cannot explain
    • Charge accounts being opened in your name or using your information
    • Unfamiliar accounts are appearing on your credit report
    • Debt collectors calling about debt that is not your
    • You stop receiving expected mail

Be Safe and Secured

A data breach at a major US bank like Capital One has exposed troves of sensitive information, putting thousands of people at risk of online fraud. It’s one of the most disappointing affairs of all time.
Don’t forget to take these right precautionary strides and keep your finance protected.

Ronnie Mize

Ronnie Mize

Ronnie Mize is the Chief Security Officer of Information Technology for Etech Technical Services. Ronnie has been in the technology sector for 20 years and has held technology leadership roles with Microtech America, The Berry Company (a subsidiary of Bellsouth) and Etech. His entrepreneurial background includes extensive experience in technology development and deployment as well as implementation of business processes and defined methodology.

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