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7 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Data Breach #BreachWatch

This post is sponsored by LifeLock and Find Your Influence.

Being a blogger means half my work (when not photographing and using products) involves the computer. So even though my computer was sloooooooooo….wwwwwweeeeeerrrrr than molasses this summer, I couldn’t bring myself to unplug and bring it into the shop.

I finally managed to break away when I knew we’d be camping for five days. I figured no better time to get my machine repaired than when I’d be unplugged in the woods of Vermont!

First, I had a quick diagnostic. After ten minutes, the computer tech came out and looked incredulous: “You actually do WORK on this machine?” he asked.

I thought of the hours I spent drumming my fingers waiting for programs to load or switch from one to the other, “Yes, but it’s excruciating!”

Long story short…. turns out I had malware gobbling up all my memory and bogging the system down. The tech guy said, “The good news is, it’s not the kind that steals your private info and identity.”

“Oh I know,” I told him. He looked surprised and I said, “I’d have gotten a message from LifeLock if there’d been a data breach.”

Good thing LifeLock and I just partnered for this post to tell you more about how to get protection against data breach!

Protect against Data Breach

What is data breach?

A data breach is when your confidential information (Social Security Number, credit card, or health information) is exposed or accessed by an unauthorized person.

The news offers daily stories about data breach at stores like Home Depot, and I’ve even gotten one of those “data breach notification” letters everyone dreads. Did you know, studies show individuals who get those letters are more than four times as likely to become victims of identity theft? YIKES!

Tips for protecting against identity fraud before and after a data breach:

1. Monitor your transactions – don’t wait for the monthly statement to come in. Check your credit and debit accounts daily or weekly to be sure all charges are clearly ones you remember making.

2. Report suspicious transactions immediately – if you see even a small transaction you don’t recognize, contact your card issuer right away. The phone number is on the back of your card. You might even write this number down in a separate file in your home in case you lose your card.

3. Order a replacement card – If you think your debit or credit number was compromised, don’t wait around. Order a new card, which will cancel the old one. This reduces the time a criminal will have access to your bank accounts. Trust me – it’s easy and not too inconvenient – I’ve done this a number of times, only to find my card stuck under a car floor mat or side pocket of my purse. But better safe than sorry!

4. Follow the news – it often takes time for data breaches to be investigated. As with the recent Home Depot story, the investigation of this crime is still under way. Keep an eye on the news for any more information.

5. Use an identity protection service – LifeLock provides identity protection products and services to detect fraudulent activity like cash withdrawals, balance transfers, and large purchases. They will alert you immediately, and also some of their products will handle the “clean up” of a data breach affecting your identity.

How Identity Protection Services Give You Peace of Mind Against Data Breach

A recent study shows victims of data breach spend an average of 41 hours resolving issues related to the breach (Source: Javelin Strategy & Research. “2011 Identity Fraud Survey Report.” February 2011.). Who has that kind of time ? That’s over a full working week you could be making money for your family, but instead you’d be stressing and scrambling trying to save your money from getting stolen by some thief!

I’ve had a LifeLock membership for about two years, and there’s nothing like that monthly email reassuring me my information is secure and nobody has tried to access my accounts or open new ones.

Here’s just some ways LifeLock products help protect against data breach:

  • Identity Threat Detection and Alerts via email or phone
  • Lost Wallet Protection – just call and LifeLock will help you cancel or replace contents (see full details on the LifeLock Site for what is covered).
  • Address Change Verification – Lifelock monitors change of address requests made by people trying to impersonate you!
  • Black Market Website Surveillance – Yes, identity thieves will try to sell you (well your information!) on the black market, but LifeLock patrols crimial websites and will notify you if they see your information.
  • Reduced Pre-Approved Credit Card Offers – we all want less junk mail, right? 
  • Member Service 24/7/365 – via email or phone!
  • Up to $1 Million Total Service Guarantee 

Identity fraud and data breaches are realities of our digital world. Instead of worrying about them, I enjoy having LifeLock protection services. My time and mental energy is now freed up for more productive pursuits… my family, children, living, and of course, writing this blog to help my readers!

If you’re interested in getting LifeLock protection and peace of mind yourself, Click to sign up and use the 10% off promo code: BREACHWATCH

Data Breach

Image Source: modified via Creative Commons License

This is a sponsored post with LifeLock and I was compensated for sharing this message. All opinions are my own.