CONSUMER FIRST ALERT: How to protect yourself after a data breach
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A Consumer First Alert about cyberattacks.
Perhaps you’ve received a letter or email saying you’re a victim of a data compromise. You’re not alone, there were 422 million victims of identity related crimes last year. The national identity theft resource center is a non-profit that tracks trends and helps thousands of people.
The President and CEO of the non-profit talked to WBAY about the organization’s annual report, giving new insight into what’s being hacked and how.
“I don’t want people to panic, I do however want people to react, and understand I should be paying attention to this so I can minimize my risk,” said Eva Velasquez, President and CEO of Identity Theft Resource Center.
The ITRC breaks down the top information compromised:
Social Security Number
Date Of Birth
Bank Account Information.
But according to the ITRC’S report: 66% of data breach notifications aren’t telling victims specifics about exactly what information was compromised.
“A breach that involves your social security number is going to have a very different action steps than a breach that involves say your username and password. so not having that information really leaves a lot of victims in the dark about those first recovery steps,” said Velasquez.
The ITRC says there were more than 1,800 publicly reported data compromises in 2022. A near record, with a surge in supply chain attacks and a 200% spike in reports of social media account takeover.
Twitter - at the top - a breach hitting two hundred million users.
Number two is virtual pet game Neopets with 69 million victims.
Followed by AT&T with 22 million victims
and CashApp at 8.2 million victims
“How many people remember Neopets? It was so long ago. It’s really not anything that’s popular right now but that is proof that once it’s online, on the Internet it never goes away,” said Velasquez.
“This treasure trove of information, all of the information, the identity theft resource center gets in this report, how does this help you move forward and how does it help consumers move forward?” asked Action 2 News Tammy Elliot.
“By tracking the state of data breaches, particularly when we start looking at root causes it does allow us to look at where those vulnerabilities are and it does allow us as an organization and encourage industries to shore up those vulnerabilities,” said Velasquez. “If you are part of a data breach where your user name and password has been compromised you can minimize your risk by going in and changing those things. If you have the option to change your username, not just use an email, give that account a unique user name and also update that password use a stronger password on that account […] and hopefully it’ll also remind you, hey, I’ve been using the same password across other accounts, it’s time for me to adopt better password habits.”
If you believe you’re a victim, the identity theft resource center can help. Their services are free.
They can be reached at https://www.idtheftcenter.org/ or 888.400.5530.
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