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Data Breach Response: A Guide for Our Clients

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Our firm considers your family’s online safety and security to be of the utmost importance. To assist you in safeguarding your online experience we are providing you with actions recommended by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) in the event you experience a data breach. Depending on the type of breach, only a portion of the below info may be exposed. It may still be beneficial to follow all listed steps as a precaution.

To Help Secure Your Credit File:

  • Enroll in credit reporting from the three major credit bureaus listed below (or obtain a free credit report at annualcreditreport.com).

Equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services

1-800-685-1111

Experian.com/help

888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742)

TransUnion.com/credit-help

888-909-8872

  • Check the report for any charges you do not recognize. Notify the credit bureau if you notice a charge you did not make.
  • Consider placing a credit freeze to make it more difficult for someone to open a new account in your name. (Please note this will require some extra steps to verify your identity next time you apply for a service that requires a credit check.) You can place a freeze through each credit bureau.
  • It could be beneficial to file taxes as early as possible. This could prevent someone from using your social security number to get a tax refund or a job.
  • Notify us immediately of any letters from the IRS. The IRS does not communicate by phone, email, or text. If you receive communications of this type they are not from the IRS. 

To Help Secure Online Accounts:

  • Login to all online financial accounts and if possible change the password. Even accounts which may not be a direct financial account, but which utilize any payment system which could be linked to a financial account.
  • If you use the same password for any other sites, change those as well. Change passwords at least once every 90 days.
  • If you are unable to access an account or are shut out, contact the company whose website you are attempting to access.

To Help Secure Your Debit Cards, Credit Cards, and Bank Accounts:

  • If your account is breached, contact your bank or credit card company to cancel and request a new one. 
  • Review transactions regularly and notify the cards fraud department immediately if you notice any unusual charges.
  • If you have automatic payments set up on the cards make sure to update the information.

To Help Secure Your Driver’s License Number:  

  • Contact your nearest motor vehicle branch and report the security breach. The state can flag your license number in case someone else tries to use it, or they may suggest applying for a new one.

To Secure Your Minor Children’s’ Information:

  • Request a free credit freeze for your child. This will make it more difficult for someone to use your child’s information to open accounts. You can request a freeze through each credit bureau.
  • Generally, children do not have a credit report unless someone is using their information for fraud. You can ask each of the credit bureaus to check their records for any fraudulent activity.
  • If a credit bureau has a credit report for your child, they will send you a copy of the report. Use the instructions provided to remove fraudulent accounts.

While we hope this information is never required, having a preparedness plan in the event of a security breach may help to prevent any further issues.

Investment advisory services offered through Ciccarelli Advisory Services, Inc., a registered investment adviser independent of FSC Securities Corporation.  Securities and additional investment advisory services offered through FSC Securities Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC and a registered investment adviser. 9601 Tamiami Trail North, Naples, FL. 239-262-6577.

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