[Also see our FAQ on security breaches.]
This guide is adapted with permission from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse publication "How to Deal with a Security Breach, www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs17b-SecurityBreach.htm
Security breaches involving your personal information – also referred to as data breaches – can create a significant risk of fraud or identity theft if the information is acquired by the wrong person. This guide informs you of the risks involved and the measures you can take if you’re affected by a security breach.
If you received a letter informing you that your personal information may have been compromised due to a security breach, do not panic. A security breach does not necessarily mean that you will become a victim of identity theft. However, you are encouraged to follow the steps outlined below to reduce your risk of becoming an identity theft victim.
- Determine what type of breach has occurred.
- Notify the credit bureaus and establish a fraud alert.
- Order your credit reports and review carefully.
- Consider a security freeze.
- Consider filing a consumer complaint with the Identity Theft Unit.
- Continue to monitor your accounts, mail, and credit reports.