What you should know about the Capital One data breach

Local News

If you have a Capital One credit card or if you’ve applied for one, you could be one of the millions in the U.S. affected by a data breach.

The FBI says a former software engineer is accused of stealing the information.

Paige Thompson has since been arrested.

Capital One says the system is fixed, but the question now is what does it mean for you? The bulk of the hacked data was from consumers and small businesses who applied for credit cards between 2005 and early 2019.

While about 100 million customers were affected in the U.S., only about 140,000 social security numbers were compromised as well as about 80,000 linked bank account numbers.

The company says it’s unlikely the information was used for fraud.

Whether you could be a affected or not, this is a good reminder to be vigilant with your information.

It’s a troubling reality you don’t want to hear.

“Data breaches are just going to happen. It becomes a part of our daily occurrence,” DSU Instructor of Computer and Cyber Sciences Rob Honomichl said.

Rob Honomichl is a computer and cyber sciences instructor at Dakota State University.

“When data breaches like this happen I think everybody should start worrying whether you’re a Capital One customer or someone else,” Honomichl said.

Capital One’s website says it will notify the people affected through a variety of channels. It will also offer free credit monitoring and identity protection.

But in the meantime there are other steps you can take.

“You can Google ‘freeze my credit’ and it will tell you how to do that with all three credit reporting agencies. You can do it online or over the phone,” BBB State Director Jessie Schmidt said.

You can also get one free credit report from each of the three agencies each year.

Honomichl is a Capital One cardholder himself, but he’s already in the practice of watching his credit activity closely.

“Our information is always out there somewhere and we’re not going to stop it,” Honomichl said.

Here’s another tip:

You can get alerts on your phone that will let you know if your card has been used.

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