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Like a BREACH over Troubled Water

Lately, the words "data breach" or "data leak" seem to be a part of every news report and conversation. Hackers are targeting businesses everywhere, banks, doctors offices, hospitals, governments, utility companies and more, which makes the pool of troubled waters larger, while our data is floating off into the hands of thieves. Don't we all wish hackers would get a real job and leave our identities and hard earned assets alone! The truth is, hackers are smarter, and we too, need to be wiser at our game of preventing their access to our personal stuff.


Take charge. Be your own security advocate. Don't let your personal identity and information fall into the depths of a black canyon and the hands of hackers. 

How to Protect YOU in a Breach

  1. Stay Alert: If you have been notified by a company that your data was exposed in a breach, understand breaches are not always detected right away, therefore, your information may have been in the hands of criminals for longer than you know. Keep the unusual, whether an email, bill, statement from an unfamiliar source or lender. 

  2. Secure Your Accounts: Change passwords and PINs on all accounts that have been affected in the breach. DO NOT reuse passwords! Enroll in a two-factor authentication process, so getting into your accounts requires more than a password or PIN. 

  3. Initiate a Fraud Alert: Inform your banking institutions that your info has been a part of a data breach, so they can note your account and monitor suspicious activity. Also, report the fraud alert to a credit bureau (Experian, TransUnion or Equifax), so the incident can be noted on your credit report. If you report to one of the credit bureau's, all three companies will make note of this on your credit report file. 

  4. Monitor your Financial and Credit Report Accounts: Set up alerts to notify you when a transaction occurs on your bank accounts and credit reports. This way you can monitor transactions and suspicious activity. 

  5. Lock or Freeze your Credit Report Accounts: You can also consider locking or freezing your credit report accounts, so if a hacker decides to apply for a loan in your name, your credit report account cannot be accessed. This gives you the power to unlock or unfreeze when you need, but not anyone else.  

  6. Stay Vigilant to Scams: Things that may be exposed in a breach include: your full name, email address, date of birth, biometric data, passwords and PINs, mailing address, social security number. If this information lands in a criminals hands or on the dark web, they could use a variety of phishing techniques to scam you. They may tell you their communication is from a legitimate source (your bank or government official) and you need to send money or provide more sensitive information. Or they may piece the bits of information they have of yours to create a fake identity. Don't allow these thugs to make you another victim. Be aware, listen and pay close attention to detail.   

  7. Take breaches seriously. Act quickly. Ask questions. Make a move to protect you and your assets asap. 

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What should BUSINESSES do if a Breach is suspected?

  • By Law a business is required to immediately notify authorities, other businesses and individuals of a breach. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a list of Guidelines for a business to abide by in the event of a breach. 

  • The business will need to secure the network and its vulnerabilities immediately. Visit ITCentralKC web site's University page and read about EDR, as this is the latest technological resource to prevent breaches. This EDR technology can detect a hack quicker than a human and shut down the affected endpoints. 

  • Call Doug at ITC to create an Incident Response Plan (IRP), so in the event of a breach you will know what to do, when to do something and responsibilities have been assigned. Having Doug help you with an IRP, will help you know what to do and how to manage the breach process. Our techs can also get your systems set up to prevent future attacks. 

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