Capital One has reported that there’s been a leak of its customers’ information, a significant leak that includes social security numbers and financial information. This comes on the heels of the big Equifax controversy, under which Equifax was required to pay out $700 million. Capital One customers should be aware of this threat.
The hack has exposed 106 million accounts. This includes some Canadian and European customers. Leaks included personal information, social security numbers, and even financial and banking information. This includes both applicants and existing customers, so applicants to Capital One will also potentially be exposed.
140,000 social security numbers were exposed by this hack in addition to 80,000 linked bank accounts. These linked bank accounts need to be monitored because they could potentially be compromised now. For the other customers, personally identifiable information could be stolen, which could potentially contribute to identity theft.
Have You Been hacked?
Capital One has been sending out letters to people who have been impacted by the breach. If you’ve received a letter from Capital One, you will need to connect with them to make sure that the account has been corrected.
If you’re concerned that you may have missed a letter or that your account has been hacked, you can contact Capital One directly.
Keep in mind that you should never click a link on an email from Capital One or connect with Capital One through email. This could easily be a phishing scam. Now that the Capital One has been hacked, there will likely be phishing attempts that state that they’re from Capital One. This could potentially lead to other issues.
Financial Services Are Being Hacked
Many financial services have had notable vulnerabilities in the past few years. With companies being regularly hacked, customers are constantly being inundated with security news. But why are these services so vulnerable?
Financial services are growing in complexity. They are often being run on systems that haven’t been properly updated or scaled. The Equifax issue was an issue with not being updated.
Anyone who has a financial account will experience potential issues with their data being hacked. Social security numbers are now already out there. With some additional information, these social security numbers can be connected to an identity.
With a social security number, name, and date of birth, a person can open an account. They can open credit card accounts and bank accounts, and they can open lines of credit. All of this can impact someone’s credit score and credit report.
Protecting Your Personal Information
With as many financial institutes that are being hacked, customers need to protect their personal information. This has to be done proactively. Customers have to be able to protect themselves from all angles, because it’s possible for any company to be hacked.
How can you protect your personal information? Freeze your credit reports. Freezing your credit reports means that people can’t open new credit lines under your account even if your social security is stolen.
You should pull your credit reports annually to make sure there aren’t any accounts that you don’t recognize. If you do see any unauthorized accounts, you should call immediately to correct your report.
Whenever there are any issues with your bank accounts, you have to follow up. Any transactions that aren’t familiar to you, you should check on. The Capital One breach is unique because it isn’t just social security that is a problem. Capital One also leaked bank account numbers, which means money can potentially be withdrawn.
With Capital One being hacked, it illuminates the fact that there are serious issues with security at major financial institutions. Capital One is not the first major hack and it’s not going to be the last. Freeze your accounts now to protect yourself.