A data breach or credit hack is when your personal data might have been exposed. Identity theft occurs after a data breach when cyber criminals use stolen data to commit fraud in your name.
Chelsea State Bank wants you to understand the differences between data breach protection and identity theft, so you can prevent some data breaches from turning into identity theft disasters. After a breach, you’ll need to move into identity theft prevention mode.
Examples of a Data Breach or Credit Hack
To help you get a better idea of a data breach and understand that different things can be called a data breach, here are some examples:
- Sending an email, and accidentally attach a document that contains personal data.
- A hacker breaks into a business’s network and downloads point-of-sale data compromising customer debit or credit information.
- A healthcare employee sends patient data using a non-encrypted email.
- Malicious software, also known as malware spreads to private or public-sector servers and steals private data.
- A problem with an organization’s web hosting software causes personal financial data to be exposed online.
- Thieves break into your home or office and steal a laptop, which contains your personal data.
In each of these cases, data might have been exposed. You’ll notice how few of these examples involve hackers. Less than half of breaches can be attributed to hackers, most is caused by human error. Chelsea State Bank has systems in place to protect against accidental data exposure.
Understanding Identity Theft
When there is a data breach, Identity theft is a real concern. Cyber criminals using stolen data to commit fraud, illegally making purchases, applying for loans, or withdrawing money from your bank account are examples of identity theft. Another way of looking at it: If a data breach is the moment you lose data; identity theft is the moment criminals use that data for malicious purposes.
It’s also important to note that not all data breaches lead to identity theft. It can be prevented even after a data breach has occurred.
When you are able to catch fraudulent transactions early, criminals are less likely to use stolen data if it has a low success rate. When data is stolen, hackers sell that data on the black market. Identity thieves buy data and imprint it on fake credit cards that they use to make fraudulent purchases. However, criminals don’t want to buy stolen data if it only works some of the time.
If you fight back and your credit monitoring services catch ID theft in action, you can actually stop further ID theft. Stay focused!
Chelsea State Bank offers ID TheftSmart to help protect your identity. See our Identity Theft Protection page for more information.