How to protect yourself from the Capital One security breach

A hacker gained access to personal information from more than 100 million Capital One credit applications, the bank said Monday as federal authorities arrested a woman in the case.

Paige Winter, a Seattle-based software engineer who contracted for the company, was tracked down by agents after she tweeted to the bank.

The suspect allegedly got hold of customers' credit card applications, and just think about what's on that piece of paper -- everything. Who you are, when you were born, where you work how much you make.

Security Expert Adam Levin, founder of CyberScout, reminds us the Capital One Breach is not the first and certainly won't be the last entity which holds our most sensitive personal info to get hacked.

To manage the damage, Levin says consider more comprehensive identity protection since Social Security numbers were exposed. These plans are offered by financial institutions, insurance companies and even HR departments of your employer.

Since your bank account numbers may have also been compromised, the cyber sleuth says it's a good time to change your passwords. Make them long and strong with numbers and symbols because you want to avoid having your existing bank account and credit and debit cards compromised and you don't want to give a hacker the opportunity to open new credit in your name.

STEP 1: MONITOR ACCOUNTS

Sign up for alerts so you're notified if someone's trying to move or withdraw money. Notify your bank ASAP if you see a transaction that is not yours.

STEP 2: CHECK CREDIT SCORE

You may want to consider a temporary credit freeze, which prevents lenders from looking at your credit which is mandatory to open a new account.

STEP 3: BEWARE OF PHONY EMAILS OR CALLS

Anytime something big like this happens, scammers are quick to capitalize. Don't click on links sent to your email or respond to calls which may appear to be from Capital One or credit monitoring offering to help. These cons pretend to need you to verify your info and it's really a swindle -- so delete or hang up.
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