How to Protect Yourself After a Data Breach
- Posted: May 5, 2022
- Posted by: Travis Lynk
- Last Reviewed: July 1, 2022
So you’re thinking about starting a new life with lower taxes, a lower overall cost of living, and superb real estate options in Puerto Rico—one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful places. From selecting the right neighborhood to bringing or buying a car, there’s a lot to keep track of to ensure this desirable move goes smoothly. It’s easy to forget about one of the greatest potential threats to each of us in the information age.
A data breach.
They happen all the time all over the world. Data breaches are the dark lining to the (mostly) silver cloud of the internet, smartphones, and online shopping we enjoy in the 21st century. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some best practices in responding to a compromise of your personal or financial data. Cybercriminals might use your personal information to empty your bank account, rack up huge bills with your credit or debit cards, or even steal your identity altogether. Read on to learn how to navigate the uncertainties of a breach while charting a course to your Caribbean dream life.
When you receive one of those dreaded notifications, you’ll want to move quickly to minimize the damage.
First, make sure the breach actually occurred. It’s possible that whoever notified you was a scammer trying to get your data by impersonating a company or agency that already has it. You should verify what happened and what information was stolen directly. Call the official phone number or visit the secure website of the company or agency that says your data was compromised. If you’ve confirmed the data breach, the breached entity may be able to help.
Under this kind of scenario, you should change usernames and passwords for your affected online accounts too. Delete old accounts you no longer use, especially if there’s overlap between the login information you used in those and the accounts you still use. When you create new accounts, consider taking care of your transactions as a guest instead of storing your credit card information in yet another vulnerable site.
Think about boosting your security further by enabling multi-factor authentication. Try not to use the same password on every page you log into. It may be hard to keep track of all this information yourself, but you can use a secure password manager like Keeper or LastPass to stay on top of it and get an added layer of protection.
If your data’s been compromised, you should also notify your bank(s) and other financial institution(s), so they can keep a look out for fraudulent activities. Get in touch with one or more credit bureaus like Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion, which can freeze your credit and place fraud alerts at no cost to you.
Keep watching your financial statements for unusual charges. Consider signing up with a reputable credit monitoring service. If your identity was stolen, contact the police and report it to the Federal Trade Commission.
Your personal data is stored in a large and growing number of electronic databases worldwide that you can’t control. So if you haven’t already become a data breach victim, eventually you will. That’s not the kind of experience you’ll enjoy, but if you follow this guidance, you’ll at least contain the fallout with greater ease.
Then you’ll be able to focus on things that matter more, like buying a house or renting a property from one of Puerto Rico’s many fine neighborhoods. It’s no surprise that real estate prices here rose sharply last year, so don’t let your dream home get away. If there’s one thing that experiencing a data breach and planning a relocation to Puerto Rico have in common, it’s this: there’s no time for you to waste.
Our team at PRelocate can’t wait to hear from you and answer your questions. We’ll provide you with the exemplary service we’re known for among countless others who are living the sweet life in Puerto Rico.
Disclaimer: Neither PRelocate, LLC, nor any of its affiliates (together “PRelocate”) are law firms, and this is not legal advice. You should use common sense and rely on your own legal counsel for a formal legal opinion on Puerto Rico’s tax incentives, maintaining bona fide residence in Puerto Rico, and any other issues related to taxes or residency in Puerto Rico. PRelocate does not assume any responsibility for the contents of, or the consequences of using, any version of any real estate or other document templates or any spreadsheets found on our website (together, the “Materials”). Before using any Materials, you should consult with legal counsel licensed to practice in the relevant jurisdiction.
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