Although right off the bat every single data breach is going to feel like it is going to ruin your life, the truth of the matter is that, for the most part, fixing the fallout from data breaches can be relatively hassle free. However, there are a handful of situations that may lead you down years of cleanup and finding surprise after surprise on your credit reports.
Major data breaches, stolen credit cards, hacked social media accounts, spammed email, missing snail mail — many of us are experiencing fraud fatigue. But no breach should be ignored, though some expose you to more danger and aggravation than others. It helps to know whether you’re facing a minor annoyance or a full-on code red alert.
With help from security experts, we’ve produced a risk-o-meter to rate risks and hassles. You can also learn how to avoid some of these breaches.
You are not your credit card
Keep in mind that there’s a big difference between a risk or breach involving only one account and a breach that exposes your entire identity.
“You have to understand, you are not your payment card,” says Eva Casey Velasquez, president and CEO of Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego. “If you have a credit card compromised, the remediation process is significantly easier. You simply call your financial institution and inform them that your existing account was compromised and you need a new card.”