In part one of our series on cyber security, we posted a story about someone whose card information was hacked while he was travelling. He took the necessary steps to secure his financial information and make sure the fraudulent charges were handled appropriately.

Unfortunately, it is likely something like this will happen to you, a family member, a friend, or a client. Here in part two, we’ll discuss six tips for handling a situation such as this if you ever find yourself in similar circumstances.

1.   If you haven’t already, sign up for text or email alerts for your bank and credit cards. If you can get both, even better. With email alerts, you would receive a message when you log on to the internet. You should be able to set up these alerts through your bank and credit card’s online portal. If you have trouble, contact your bank’s customer service.

2.   Make it a habit to check your accounts regularly. Sometimes technology fails us, and we don’t get that text or email alert. Log in to your accounts on a regular basis to review all charges.

3.   Be sure to look at all charges closely! Experts say that oftentimes card-stealers make small purchases to test the waters before spending big. In the previous scenario, three small charges were made, and it’s possible a larger purchase was planned. If you see even the smallest fraudulent charge, contact your bank or credit card company immediately.

4.   Change your PIN. When going to the bank to get a new card, an associate may ask if you want to keep your old PIN (Personal Identification Number). If you aren’t sure how your card was compromised, changing your PIN number is highly recommended. Sure, typing in four new numbers will take some getting used to, but that’s much easier than dealing with fraud.

5.   Change your online password. Although you may have a new card, changing your online banking password is also an important step. Even if you have no reason to believe that your PIN or online account was compromised, why risk it and make the hacker’s job easier?

6.   Be sure to update any auto-pay accounts that you have. With a new card number, you’ll have to update any accounts that have on auto-pay, like Netflix, your cable and internet, your gym membership, and so on. You don’t want to be charged a late fee because your account no longer exists.

Dealing with a cyber security incident isn’t fun, but it happens. The most important takeaway is that we always need to be thinking about our personal security. Set up prevention methods such as text or email alerts and a credit freeze to limit the amount of damage that can be done. But still be aware of your cyber security at all times. Again, we can’t always prevent the hackers from getting our information, but we can act quickly and limit the losses.

At BlueRock Wealth Management, we are committed to helping you achieve your financial goals and protect you against threats such as these. In the third portion of our series, we’ll discuss an emerging threat called “video-jacking”. Stay tuned.

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