Time is of the essence, whether your personal data has been compromised as part of a larger targeted cyber-attack, or you are the victim of an individual cyber-crime. You’ll need to take immediate action to minimize the impacts.
These are steps you should take within specified time-frames after discovering your data has been breached.
Within the First 24-48 Hours
1. Call Your Advisor
Call your advisor, regardless of where or how the breach occurred, so he/she can watch for any suspicious activity in your accounts and collaborate with you on extra precautions to take in verifying your identity prior to any fund transfers.
2. Call Either Your Advisor or the Custodian Where Your Account is Held
3. Has Your Social Security Number Been Compromised?
4. Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Contact the FTC either at www.identitytheft.gov, by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT (TTY 1-866-653-4261), or by visiting www.ftc.gov. Click on Report Identity Theft to access the Identity Theft Recovery Steps. This one-stop resource for victims of identity theft will guide you through each step of the recovery process, from reporting the crime to creating a personal recovery plan and putting your plan to action.
5. Victim of Tax Fraud? Review the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft
Available at the IRS website, the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft provides education on tax-related identity theft, tips to reduce your risk, and steps for victims to take.
6. Close Compromised or Unauthorized Accounts
If appropriate, close any compromised or unauthorized accounts. Alternatively, some banks and custodians allow to "clone" the account. This allows an identical account to be opened, your funds or assets moved, and the compromised account to be closed.
7. Clean Your Computer
Run reputable anti-virus/anti-malware/anti-spyware software to clean your computer.
8. Change Your Passwords!
Within the First Week
1. If the breach occurred at a firm with whom you do business, be sure to follow the legitimate directions provided by that firm.
If the firm offers credit protection services, consider signing-up for the service.
2. Report the crime to your local police
3. Report your stolen money and/or identity to one of the three main credit bureaus.
Provide the credit bureau with your police report number and ask them to place a fraud alert on your account to prevent additional fraudulent activity. Once the fraud alert is activated, the two other credit bureaus will receive automatic notification and the fraud alert on your credit report will be in place for seven years with all three credit bureaus. (Without your police report number, the alert will only be in place for 90 days.)
4. Put a freeze on your credit report.
Put a freeze on your credit report with each of the main credit bureaus to prevent the unauthorized opening of accounts. Executing a freeze with one credit bureau will NOT automatically update the others. You can easily unfreeze your credit report when needed. Contact the credit bureaus using this contact information for freezes.
5. Review Recent Account Statements
6. Consider the Scope of the Information
Consider what other personal information (e.g., birth date, social security number, PIN numbers, account numbers and passwords) may be at risk and alert the appropriate businesses.
7. Collect Evidence
Begin collecting and saving evidence such as account statements, canceled checks, receipts, and emails that may be useful if an investigation is warranted regarding the cyber-crime.
Within the Next 30 Days and Beyond
1. Carefully Review Statements
2. Contact Others
2. Speak With Your Advisor
Speak with your advisor regarding precautions you’ll jointly take to enhance the identity verification process when you want to execute financial transactions.
3. Use Two or Multi-Factor Authentication
For additional protection, use two-factor or multi-factor authentication at your financial institutions.
4. Social Security Fraud? Create an Online Account.
5. Request a Credit Report
Request a credit report at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/ every six months to check for unauthorized activity. It will NOT affect your credit score. More on credit reports can be found here: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0155-free-credit-reports
6. Be diligent for the next year in taking precautions to avoid further security incidents.
While we hope you are never the victim of a data breach, we provide this information to help you take the necessary steps to mitigate the impacts if your data has been compromised.
Please Note: BluePrint Wealth Alliance does not monitor your systems, does not render cyber-security or IT advice, does not endorse any technology company or vendor, and has no way of knowing that you are encountering any system or cyber-security issues until you let us know.
If you receive an unsolicited phone call from someone claiming to be with BluePrint Wealth Alliance, offering to help you with systems issues or asking you for permission to access your computer, do not engage with the caller other than asking the individual to provide you with a call back number.
The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but is not necessarily complete and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. No representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to the fairness, accuracy, completeness, or correctness of the information and opinions contained herein. The views and the other information provided are subject to change without notice. All commentary issued is without regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation, or particular needs of any specific recipient and are not to be construed as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any securities or related financial instruments, nor should this commentary be regarded as a description of advisory services provided by BluePrint Wealth Alliance, LLC. Nothing on this website constitutes investment, tax, or legal advice.
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