Lately there have been a lot of security breaches at some of the top retail stores all over the world, which means that there is a chance that your credit card information could be in the wrong hands. There are many things that you can do to protect your credit after this happens and you don’t even have to wait for a security breach to implement these.
Make sure to read and understand the data breach notification. Depending on what state you live in the companies aren’t required to send a letter informing you of the breach, but most do anyways. If you get one of these letters, make sure to read it closely and that you understand what is being said. This is where you will find what information was taken and what you do next depends on that.
Most of the time after a security breach the companies will offer free credit monitoring, so take them up on it. Make sure to monitor your credit and if you see something odd, then make sure to notify the credit bureaus so that you can get it taken care of. Even if they don’t offer the services, it might be a good idea for your top credit cards that you sign up on your own and there are plenty to choose from.
Change all of your passwords. Make sure to change your passwords for your online credit card accounts and if required the PIN numbers. This means that if the passwords were stolen, they won’t have the new one. You should regularly change the passwords to ensure that nobody can get into the accounts.
Call the credit cards companies. If the information was stolen, then the first thing to do is to inform the issuer so that they can close that account and issue you a new card number. You should also be aware that you won’t be held liable for any charges that weren’t authorized while the card is being held by you. As soon as you see any charges that you didn’t make, call the credit card company and inform them so that it can be disputed and removed.
Dispute all fraudulent charges on your credit score. There are plenty of top credit cards that people will try to steal the information for. However, make sure that if there are any fraudulent charges on these accounts that you start to dispute them as soon as you see them. If nothing else, make sure to have these accounts closed and if required open another account as soon as you can.
You can get a fraud alert placed on your credit report. This would be activate for 90 days and will inform the businesses to confirm that you are indeed you before they go ahead and give you any new credit. You can also get a free credit report, which is a good thing to get year round. However, this might not allow you to file for any instant credit card applications.