INDIANAPOLIS — Not all data breaches are created equal. That is why it is important to first figure out what type of information is compromised.
If it is basic contact info an email address, phone number, or physical address, security expert Carrie Kerskie said there is not much to do on your end.
"Be on the lookout for phishing emails pretending to be from that company," Kerskie said.
If it is a username or password that has been compromised, Kerskie said to update that information.
That applies to other accounts that use the same password, as well.
"Don't recycle passwords, because this is the perfect example. If it gets breached in one place," Kerskie said "They're going to be able to get into additional accounts."
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Kerskie suggests using a passphrase instead of a password. For example, it can be a line from a movie, or lyrics to one of your favorite songs.
If the compromised information is sensitive – like your Social Security number – place a credit freeze with all four of the credit bureaus.
Credit freezes are free and are done directly with each bureau.
As for the free credit monitoring services, Kerskie said she does not believe they are necessary.
"The monitoring only tells you after something has already happened. Well, if you place a credit freeze that prevents it from happening in the first place."