5 Handy tips if your data is breached



In this modern connected world, many of the things we do online, that save us time and money, require us to sign up with personal or business information.

When your personal or business information is accessed, released or even lost, we call it a data breach.

Your information could be used to illegally, access your online accounts, set up new accounts, assume your identity, impersonate you or your business or in extreme cases, to blackmail you or your business. All of these have the potential to cause extreme stress and in some cases financial loss.

If you receive an email or notification from an organisation that your personal or business information has been breached then it’s a good idea to act quickly and try and minimise the impact on you or your business. In most cases, the email or notification will let you know what personal or business information has been affected and what you should do.

Here are some things you can do straight away to minimise further risk.

1. Change all of your personal and business passwords.

Make them strong, memorable and different across each online service. Many services will indicate whether the password you are adding is weak, moderate, strong or very strong. We recommend creating one that at lease falls in the strong category.

2. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) if it is available.

This provides a way of double checking that you are who you say you are when you login to an online service.

Often the second factor in addition to your password is a code sent to your authorised mobile phone number or in some cases a fingerprint. Get comfortable with 2FA it is an excellent layer of further protection.

3. Your bank accounts.

Essential in all of this too is changing your personal identification number (PIN). This may not be needed if your bank accounts have not been affected but we suggest it. Also make sure you keep an eye on all transactions for a few weeks and report anything suspicious to your bank.

4. Keep an eye out for further scams.

If your contact details were breached, there is a risk of future scam emails, texts or phone calls. They might address you by name causing you to lower your guard.

5. Ensure you know who you are talking to.

With a data breach there are often a number of emails and or conversations that need to take place. It is a good idea to ensure you are talking to the actual organisation and not a scammer. So unless you are 100% sure, call the organisation directly using public contact details. Always keep a reference number handy and validate that number with the organisation prior to starting further conversations. You don’t want to be sharing more information with people unless you know who they are.

If you are worried about your personal or business internal or external data security, then why not get in touch with the local and professional team at Shire IT. Call us on 1300 744 734.