Hackers have accessed the information of 76 million households through of JPMorgan Chase computers. This breach, the biggest of any financial institution, affects the equivalent of 2/3 of all American households, granting hackers access to personal information like names, addresses, phone numbers and emails. While the most sensitive information, like social security numbers, passwords, and birthdays, have not been accessed, these hackers are capable of victimizing clients who have been compromised.
Clients are most vulnerable to “spear phising” scams which target individuals through specialized emails that can be used to glean sensitive information from users. These emails are highly sophisticated and hard to detect. Consumers are advised to pay particular attention to emails received over the next year. Consumers should be aware that legitimate financial, commercial, or governmental service providers do not request sensitive information through email. Consumers should never provide usernames, passwords, or social security numbers through email. Consumer should also be wary of following links provided in emails. Where possible it is best to do a search of the desired webpage instead of following a direct link.
Consumers should always keep track of all accounts, checking all transactions on every bank statement. If consumers find unauthorized transactions, they will not be held liable but should contact JP Morgan immediately. Clients who have been compromised or are particularly concerned can request a freeze on their accounts. This will prohibit anyone seeking to make an account in the client’s name. In order to do this, consumers must contact the three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Accounts must then be unfrozen in order to set up any accounts.
While these precautions will help consumers remain as safe as possible from identity theft and victimization, some risks remain eminent. Consumers are encouraged to remain vigilant of financial transactions.
I think it is always good practice to regularly watch your accounts,” said Trish Wexler, a JPMorgan spokeswoman. “That is just good financial hygiene.”
Read More – Ways to Protect Yourself After the JPMorgan Hacking (New York Times, Tara Siegel Bernard)