A data breach or cyber hack could involve the loss of your personal information like your social security number, credit card numbers, bank account information, email address, and/or passwords. Having personal
information compromised could have serious repercussions and can hurt businesses and consumers in a number of different ways and can be a costly expense with the potential to damage lives and reputations.

With the severe levels of harm a data breach could cause, what can you do to prevent identity theft or having your personal information stolen? Hackers are looking for any opportunity to steal your personal data at any given time. They look for any weak spots you may have in your data security in order to breach your data and use your personal information against you. Here are some of the popular ways people’s accounts are hacked:

  • Weak passwords. It is important to ensure that you are utilizing complex and unique passwords for any accounts that may hold highly sensitive information. The weaker a password it, the more open you are to potentially get hacked. 
  • Unintentionally downloading a virus. You could accidentally download a virus or malware by downloading certain software you come across. 
  • Failure to keep your security software up to date. Always be sure to check that your firewalls, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software have all been updated in order to avoid a data breach. 

With so many ways for a stranger to access your personal information, it may seem as though there is no hope to prevent any fraudulent activity from occurring. There are in fact many ways you can avoid becoming the next victim of a data breach or a cyber hack. Here are a few ways that you can protect yourself:

  • Monitor your bank accounts. Check your accounts regularly to ensure that no unauthorized charges were made to your account. It is also important to double-check that no credit cards were opened in your name and to report any changes made without your consent.  
  • Utilize a credit monitoring tool. Utilizing software that monitors your credit could potentially (the rest of this sentence is missing)
  • Try not to overshare on social media. Avoid posting pictures showing you are away on vacation or when you’re not anywhere near your home. This could potentially lead to burglars breaking into your home and stealing your personal belongings, including sensitive and personal information. 
  • Protect your phone. ake sure that you always have a password on your phone to ensure that no one else can gain access. Having a password on your phone will stop any intruders from attempting to steal credit card or password information. 
  • Halt any suspicious activity immediately. If you see suspicious activity, don’t hesitate to contact your financial institution. It could also be beneficial for you to activate your alerts so you could be notified of any fraudulent occurrences. 

It is important to build your awareness of potential security breaches and cyber hacks to ensure you avoid being the next victim. Always be sure to keep yourself up to date on all security measures to ensure that your information is not vulnerable to theft of any kind. If you believe your information has been compromised or want to learn more about it, you can visit the IRS website.

Optima Tax Relief provides assistance to individuals struggling with unmanageable IRS tax burdens. To assess your tax situation and determine if you qualify for tax relief, contact us for a free consultation.