There is another major data breach which pretty much covers every living adult in the United States. At this point, you have to assume that cyber criminals have highly personal information that they can use to trick you.
Earlier this week, an analyst from the security firm Upguard shared that Alteryx had not properly protected detailed information it had collected on 123 million U.S. households (All told, there are about 126 million American households, according to the Census Bureau.)
This data leak was discovered by a researcher, and not (we hope) by a criminal. But the leak affects about as many people as the massive hack Equifax reported in September, which affected 145.5 million Americans, or nearly every adult.
For more about the data breach, visit KnowBe4.
You need to watch out for the following things:
- Phishing emails that claim to be from your financial institution where you can 'check if your data was compromised'
- Phishing emails that claim there is a problem with a credit card, your credit record, or other personal financial information
- Calls from scammers that claim they are from your bank or credit union
- Fraudulent charges on any credit card because your identity was stolen
Here are 5 things you can do to prevent identity theft:
- First, sign up for credit monitoring--dozens of companies do that.
- Next, freeze your credit files at the three major credit bureaus--Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Remember that generally it is not possible to sign up for credit monitoring services after a freeze is in place. Advice for how to file a freeze is available here on a state-by-state basis: https://consumersunion.org/research/security-freeze/
- Check your credit reports for free via https://www.annualcreditreport.com
- Check your bank and credit card statements for any unauthorized activity