I've shared my experience with identity theft – the fact that compromised data impacted our lives out of nowhere and how I've had to work with creditors disputing charges and canceling cards. I've also shared ways to educate yourself about it and take actions to safeguard your data ahead of time.
But what can someone do when they know that they have suffered from compromised data? What steps can help in that window between breach and chaos?
Earlier this month, Home Depot revealed that a significant data breach left 56 million payment cards exposed. Compromised data was from cards that had been used throughout the busy summer project season, and banks have reported a slew of fraudulent charges beginning to emerge.
It's no secret that my DIY family loves Home Depot. Home Depot is my happy place. We spend a LOT of time there, stocking up on gardening supplies and tootling around with the boys.
This little face knows Home Depot like the back of his hand. On lazy days when he wants to get out, he'll eagerly blink up at me. “We go Home Depot? We get screwdriver?” We wander the tools and give names to each. It amazes me that he knows what wrenches and flatheads are but he's still too stubborn to accurately identify A, B, C each time I quiz him.
- Monitor transactions: Go through your credit card and debit card statements with a fine-tooth comb, looking for even minor charges that seem amiss.
- Report suspicious transactions immediately: Call your bank as soon as you spot anything out of the ordinary.
- Order a new debit card: If there is even a small chance that you've been a victim of compromised data, go ahead and order a new debit card to avoid giving criminals direct access to your bank account. Credit cards offer more protection since they don't have a direct line to your personal money.
- Stay up to date: In the case of Home Depot, the investigation is still ongoing so it can be helpful to keep in the know as things unfold.
- Use an identity protection service: We personally use Lifelock Advantage™ and LifeLock Ultimate Plus™ to keep on top of potential fraudulent activity with alerts regarding cash withdrawals, balance transfers and large purchases.
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