Protecting Yourself Against Data Breaches
Credit and debit cards have come to dominate the way most of us shop, pay bills, and conduct our personal business. Each of those little plastic cards in your wallet likely represents thousands of dollars in buying power, and swiping your card at a store or using it to pay bills online is often much easier than paying in cash or sending a check. While using credit cards is convenient, the increase in data breaches is enough to cause us all to question whether their ease of use is more important than our own financial safety. In terms of asset protection, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect yourself against hackers and scammers looking to steal not only your identity, but your hard earned savings as well. We have assembled the latest information on data breaches, as well as steps you can take to protect yourself and your privacy.
Data Breaches Increasingly Common
Over the past several years, data breaches involving millions of potential victims have become increasingly common, and it seems no one is immune. Mega retailer Target, the Wendy’s fast food chain, and cable, cell phone and internet provider Verizon are among the latest facing security breaches that jeopardize the information of millions of customers. According to the consumer advocacy group Consumer Reports, data breaches have become some problematic that just about every person in America is affected, and it is not just retailers or service providers who are to blame. More than 21 million Social Security numbers were stolen from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in 2015 alone.
Collecting personal information on customers has been all part of a day’s business for many companies, with the intent that the information could be used to generate repeat business and return customers. According to Consumer Reports, what may be needed is increased penalties against these places when data breaches do occur, penalties that would hit them where it hurts – financially – in order to dissuade them from collecting so much personal information on their customers in the first place.
Protecting Your Personal Information
If your personal information has been compromised in a data breach, the company involved will often pay for security monitoring to protect you against identity theft. A USA Today report on data breaches advises that the problem is not likely to go away at any time in the near future, and is more than likely to get worse over the next several years. In order to protect yourself against a data breach and to minimize the negative effects, take the following steps:
- If you are using a debit card, sign for your purchases rather than supplying a pin number.
- Consider using PayPal or the new Apple app when buying items or paying bills online.
- Go the old fashioned route, and make the switch to paying cash for what you buy, and go back to snail mail and personal checks for monthly payments.
In addition to the above, be conscious of the information you give on websites and through online forms, and change your passwords frequently to avoid being hacked.
Contact Our New York Asset Protection Attorneys
At Cavallo & Cavallo, we pride ourselves on being your neighborhood law firm, and are always looking out for ways to protect your rights and your assets. Contact our experienced New York asset protection attorneys today to find out how to protect your hard earned money and to ensure your future financial stability.