Data Breaches - What to Know, What to Do

Data Breaches - What to Know, What to Do Tips

Did you recently get a notice that says your personal information was exposed in a data breach? Did you lose your wallet? Or learn that an online account was hacked?

Depending on what information was lost, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself from identity theft.

If your information has been exposed, visit for detailed advice about your particular situation.

Depending on the type of information exposed,  you’ll find these steps – and more – at

What information was lost or exposed?

Social Security number

  • If a company responsible for exposing your information offers you free credit monitoring, take advantage of it.
  • Get your free credit reports from Check for any accounts or charges you don’t recognize.
  • Consider placing a credit freeze. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. If you decide not to place a credit freeze, at least consider placing a fraud alert
  • Try to file your taxes early – before a scammer can. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job.

Online login or password

  • Log in to that account and change your password. If possible, also change your username If you can’t log in, contact the company. Ask them how you can recover or shut down the account.
  • If you use the same password anywhere else, change that, too.
  • Is it a financial site, or is your credit card number stored? Check your account for any charges that you don’t recognize. Bank account, credit, or debit card information
  • If your bank information was exposed, contact your bank to close the account and open a new one.
  • If credit or debit card information was exposed, contact your bank or credit card company to cancel your card and request a new one.

Other information

For guidance about other types of exposed information, visit

If your child’s information was exposed in a data breach, check out Child Identity Theft – What to know, What to do.