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What You Need to Know About the Capital One Data Breach

The Capital One data breach may leave you wondering how to protect yourself and your business. Read on to learn more about how you can accomplish both goals.  

In late July, it was announced that Capital One suffered a data breach. This breach took place on March 22 and March 23, 2019. While the hacker, Paige Thompson, has been charged with the crime, the crime has many people wondering what happened, who was affected and how could this have been prevented. Here is everything that you need to know about the Capital One data breach.

Who Was Affected and What Information Was Obtained

Over 100 million customers in America and Canada may have been affected by the March 22 and 23, 2019 data breach that Capital One experienced. Those affected include anyone who has or had an account with Capital One or who may have submitted an application for credit dating back to the year 2005. The hacker was able to obtain 140,000 social security numbers, over one million Canadian social insurance numbers and over 80,000 linked bank account numbers. She was also able to obtain names, addresses, dates of birth, credit scores, transaction data for an untold number of applicants and credit card holders. It was alleged in the criminal complaint that the hacker attempted to share the information with others online, so the information may be floating around with other individuals right now.


Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Information

Anytime a data breach occurs, such as the Capital One breach, individuals are left wondering how they can protect their personal information. Following a breach, scammers may reach out to you via telephone pretending to be your bank or credit card company. Never provide personal information over the phone. Your bank and credit card companies will not ask for this information over the telephone. Scammers may also send out emails asking you to click on a link to reset your password. Never use a link that was sent to you via email. If you need to change your password, do so directly from the financial institution’s webpage. It is also important for consumers to constantly monitor their own personal information, such as their bank information, credit card information and credit report. Do not wait for a hacked agency to reach out to you to let you know if your information was breached or not. It is your responsibility to actively monitor your report and place holds or freezes on your credit file if you notice any suspicious activity.

How to Protect Your Business Information From Hackers

As a business owner, you may find yourself wondering what steps you can take to protect your sensitive information from being hacked. Each time a business is hacked, information leaks out about the mistakes that the business made that left them vulnerable. In the Capital One data breach, Paige Thompson, the individual who has been charged with the hacking crime, had previously worked for the cloud hosting company that Capital One utilized as a tech company software engineer. She was able to exploit a misconfigured web application firewall and access of the information that she did.

As a business owner, this should show you why it is so important to ensure that the cloud hosting company you utilize background checks employees. It is also important to ensure that there are no misconfigured firewalls or vulnerabilities that can be exploited. There is technology available that can be used to check for these vulnerabilities, so it is important that you utilize them. Many large companies are also beginning to work with former hackers to see if they can find any vulnerabilities. This may be something to consider if you want to ensure your site is secure.

The Capital One data breach that occurred in the Spring of 2019 is one of the largest data breaches. With each breach, we are again reminded of how important it is to protect your personal information and to monitor your financial information and credit report. More information is also learned about the steps hackers take to collect data and what steps you can make to protect your customer’s and client’s information.