What to Do After a Data Breach and How to Protect Yourself

It feels like every other day, we get a notification about some company or another being involved in a data breach. Sometimes you just read the brand, breathe easy that it’s not a tool that you use, and forget about it.

Other times, however, your breath hitches, you read the article and see what data hackers managed to get their hands on and keep your fingers crossed that your data wasn’t included. Then, of course, you try to check whether or not your data was compromised, and go through the whole password change and security update steps.

It’s a nasty situation that no one wants to be in, but everyone’s been involved at least once. Yahoo, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Adobe are just some of the big players that have had a data breach, impacting hundreds of millions of users.

So what do you have to do when there’s a data breach affecting you? Let’s dive in and figure things out.

What to Do After a Data Breach?

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So, you’ve found out that a tool you use has had its servers breached and data siphoned out. You’ve seen the number of accounts affected, and it’s not looking good, as your data may very well be in that trove.

It’s not a pleasant situation, but there’s a chance that your data is still encrypted if the proper protections were put in place. Even if there have been months since the breach actually took place, you still have things you need to do.

Check Again

The first thing we want you to do, with any information of this kind, is to triple-check it all. Make sure you’re reading about the data breach from a reliable source, not just some random person on Twitter. Check if the company has confirmed the breach or has issued any statements and directives.

Also, one thing you really have to be aware of is data breach notifications that land in your Inbox. We’ve seen numerous fake emails of this kind sent over the years. Not only were they fake, but they were phishing emails, which means that if you clicked on the links, you’d get taken to a fake website and your data stolen as you type it in.

If you get one of these emails, make sure not to click on any links, check if there was a real data breach for that brand and type out the website address.

Figure Out What Data Was Stolen

The news articles or the company’s announcement should mention exactly what type of data what stolen and what was encrypted. Hackers can get their hands on your name, phone number, address, email address, credit card number, social security number, and encrypted passwords.

Most often, passwords picked up by hackers are encrypted. On the other hand, there are decryption tools out there that can be put to work. If someone really wants your particular details, they could put in the effort to get it decrypted.

Secure Your Account

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Next, you need to log in to your account and change your password immediately. Do not follow any links from your email, but just go ahead and type in the site address, fill in the login details, and go change your password.

Make sure you use a password that features the following:

  • Upper case letters
  • Lower case letters
  • Number
  • Symbol
  • Ten or more characters

Freeze Your Credit and Set Up Fraud Alert

You must also take another step to set up a fraud alert with a major credit bureau. You can also freeze your credit in case anyone is going to be using your card numbers.

Prevention Wins

Dashboard for Incogni showing various request in progress

However, rather than dealing with the aftermath of a data breach, it would be better to work towards preventing it. Incogni, for instance, is a fabulous tool that can help protect you against data breaches.

The best way to go against hackers is to keep as much of your data off the internet as possible. Incogni is good at approaching data brokers on your behalf to get your data off the internet.

They use GDPR, CCPA, as well as other privacy laws to get data brokers to remove that information from their databases. Incogni will send you weekly updates on their progress and promise to clear your data up from the internet.

incogni Detailed view

Brokers have 30-45 days to respond to the request for data removal, and comply with it. Incogni continues to check up with the data brokers to remove your data as time goes on.

Once you get to do this, you’ll reduce the number of sites that have your data, thus cutting down the potential targets for data brokers.

If you subscribe to Incogni before the 4th of December, 2022, you can use the INCOGNI60 discount code which will cut out 60% off your 1-year subscription plan. This is all part of the company’s Black Friday campaign, so you should not miss out on these awesome prices.

Prevent Hacks and Secure Your Data

The best way to go about things is to be as safe as possible. Not only should you be using diverse passwords for your accounts, but you should also make sure your data isn’t just all over the place and easy to pick up by random data breaches.

Signing up with Incogni is a great solution for the latter bit. Subscriptions can be paid monthly or annually, and you can cancel at any time, which is pretty awesome.

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