Credit freezes, password tweaks can limit hurt in security breach

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Credit freezes, password tweaks can limit hurt in security breach
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How safe is your personal info? Not very, according to a new analysis by syndicated financial writer Greg Karp.  

If you recall, the last 3 big security breaches of late involved Walgreens, McDonalds and Gawker. Huge numbers of customer info was exposed in the cases of Walgreens and McDonalds.

The McDonalds breach in particular included names, phone numbers, physical addresses and email address of customers. Thankfully, it did not include the Social Security numbers, credit card numbers or checking account numbers of customers. But plenty of others have.

Karp finds that just under two-thirds of organizations in the United States have reported 1 breach of data in the last 12 months. That’s scary. But this has become so routine that we now ignore the notices about breaches.

Here are 2 key rules to keep in mind to limit the damage someone can do to you if your info is part of a security breach:

  • Never have your e-mail password be the same password you use at any other website. Crooks assume you use one password across all platforms and many times they’re unfortunately right.
  • When you learn of breach, especially with a financial institution or where your Social Security number is exposed, you should freeze your credit files. This will prevent you from having to deal with extreme mischief in the worst forms of economic identity theft.  
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