Data Breaches

The Danger of Data Breach Fatigue

Written by Eva Velasquez for Symantec

Data breach fatigue is just what it sounds like—the perception by consumers that hacking events and identity loss are unavoidable facets of everyday life. While the Identity Theft Resource Center’s annual Aftermath report shows that victims of identity theft can have lasting feelings of frustration and fear, victims of data breaches have reported that it’s just business as usual rather than something to be concerned about.

It’s smart to be concerned about data breaches and to respond appropriately. Here are some steps you should take if you receive a data breach notification.

  1. Determine what information was compromised– Companies typically provide the type of information that was compromised in the data breach. Breached information might include your credit card number, email, birthdate, password, or other type of personal data. The issue is especially serious if your Social Security number has been compromised in a breach.
  2. Determine the reach– If your password for one website was compromised, and you share passwords across many sites, you should take the time to change each and every account that shares that password. This is a good time to reset all of your passwords and create new, strong, unique ones for each account.
  3. Consider taking advantage of free credit monitoring if it is offered– Many companies are offering free credit monitoring services in the aftermath of a data breach. You might consider signing up for the services offered. You may also want to consider placing alerts or freezes on your accounts with each of the three major credit reporting agencies. While you’re at it, this is also a good time to request a free credit report. Staggering these requests throughout the year (once per year for each of the three agencies) keeps you aware of your reports and any unauthorized changes.

LifeLock proudly provides financial support to the ITRC.
Editor’s note: This content was lightly edited and updated on Jan. 22, 2018.

Symantec Corporation, the world’s leading cyber security company, allows organizations, governments, and people to secure their most important data wherever it lives. More than 50 million people and families rely on Symantec’s Norton and LifeLock comprehensive digital safety platform to help protect their personal information, devices, home networks, and identities.

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