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Apr 23
2018

Your Data Has Been Hacked

Posted by: Steve Marr

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Today’s news scares us with instance after instance of large-scale data hacks gobbling up incredible amounts of information. If you are on anyone's database or have done any shopping online, you can assume somebody has taken your data at some time in the past. Even if a criminal never used your data, there is still reason for concern.  King Solomon cautioned, “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.” (Proverbs 22:3, NLT) The best we can do is to take good precautions.

 

First, I limit my credit card exposure when possible. I use one credit card for online purchases, limiting the exposure of other cards. Additionally, I try not to let my card disappear into the hands of another.  In most situations I keep the card in my hand and use a card reader at point-of-sale when possible. In restaurants where they take your card to run it at the register located out of sight, I pay cash.

If someone has been able to download or copy your card information, often that person will make a small purchase with your card to see if you notice. If you fail to dispute the charge, they may follow with something big. This is one occasion we should sweat the small stuff because it signals a problem.

Also, I carry insurance on my homeowner’s policy to cover expenses if I have my identity stolen.  It only costs about $24 a year. There are other services available which include good credit monitoring.  Check out what protects you best.

While I have tried to protect my information as much as possible, I assume that somebody has my information and potentially could use it illegally.  My only real defense is to pay attention, jump on any irregularities quickly and watch unexpected charges on credit card items. Despite our best precautions, we still need to be ready to work through illicit charge items or identity theft, which may be a pain. I operate my life on the assumption that somebody has my data.  I don't take anything for granted. Neither should you.  Be aware. 

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