Consumer Alert: Free tool guides consumers through data breaches

Published: May. 30, 2019 at 2:07 PM CDT
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Each year, millions of people fall victim to data breaches. Hackers steal passwords, credit card numbers and personal information. This can lead to identity theft.

There's a new free tool to guide consumers through steps to protect information.

It was two years ago that

a hack that exposed 146 million accounts, names, addresses and social security numbers.

Hotel chain Marriott

when a hacker copied information from their reservation system.

It's up to the companies to notify victims. But what's the next step?

The new online tool Breach Clarity allows consumers to find out what information hackers got and how to deal with it.

Charity Lacey is the VP of Communication at the non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center.

She explains Breach Clarity: "By giving you a scale of whether or not you should be worried, one. Two, what are the potential things that could come out of this? And three, how can you lessen your risk?"

If you're notified by a company that your data has been compromised, go to the website

From there, you enter the name of the company. A dashboard will pop up, giving a consumer a risk level.

There will be a list of what data was exposed.

It will then suggest what you should do. Suggestions include setting fraud alerts, freezing credit and notifying your bank.

"It's extremely important because data compromise at this point is really the first step in this black market economy of data," Lacey says.

Breach Clarity has every publicly reported data breach since 2017.