Recent reports of large data breaches are alarming for everyone. Customers worry about the implications of having their financial and personal information hijacked. The organizations that were compromised worry about both the near-term and the long-term effects on their business. And other organizations worry if they will be next. Two things are certain, though. The cost of a data breach is going to be really expensive, and it’s not going to be the last time it happens.
The big question everyone is asking is, what do I do about this?
For consumers, if you have shopped at any of the retailers affected, either online or in person, the first thing to do, right now, is to call your bank or card issuer and replace your credit cards. This will be a pain if you have your card tied to automatic payments of other things. You need to do it anyway. The next thing to do is to go online and change your password. If you use the same password for lots of different accounts, change those, too. And finally, begin monitoring your information at the major credit reporting agencies and immediately report anything that doesn’t look right. You can find more details on how to respond to data theft here.