HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Capital One has become the latest target of a massive data breach. A hacker accessed the personal information of 106 million credit card holders and applicants and in some cases obtained Social Security and bank account numbers.
It’s among the largest security breaches of major U.S. financial institutions on record. In this case, the hacker was arrested but most of the time, hackers will sell your information on the dark web.
“They’ll continue on. We’ll have more in the future,” said Ron Jones, professor of cybersecurity at Harrisburg University.
So, how do you protect yourself?
Jones says treat data breaches like hurricanes. It is bound to happen, so you need to take steps to protect yourself when it does.
Step one: sign up for credit monitoring.
“They’re hesitant because they don’t want to pay the money, and like any other insurance policy, when you need it, you need it really bad,” Jones said. “You can take advantage of some of their insurance plans that are available. If you wait until the breach has happened, you aren’t eligible for those insurance plans to protect your credit or your credit card information.”
Step two: use prepaid credit cards.
“Go to a store and get a prepaid credit card. Put however much money you can afford on there a week and then use that,” Jones said.
Step three: sign up for texts and alerts.
“That way, you have almost immediate notice if there is something unusual going on with the purchases with your credit card,” said Jones.
Capital One says it will notify people affected by the breach.