When you or a loved one puts your money in the bank you expect it to be safe and secure. Banks establish their reputation by building your trust in their system. They invest a lot of money in cyber security and fraud prevention, but sometimes data breaches occur. If there is a problem, here’s what to do.

First steps

The first step towards addressing the issue is to understand and document the extent of the problem. Start by contacting the bank, reporting the issue, and confirming the amount of money that is missing. A list of phone numbers for the most common banks can be found by clicking here.

You’ll also want to report the incident to the major credit reporting systems.  As part of this process, review checking accounts, savings accounts, and any lines of credit connected to the bank’s system.

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The next thing you will want to do is to change your passwords. All of them. Ensure that you’re using a password that follows effective security guidelines. Also, don’t reuse the same password for multiple accounts. If it is too difficult to keep passwords organized, start to use password management software that will do the job for you.

Personally identifiable information

You want to understand which pieces of personally identifiable information that thieves have access to. Consider if others have access to things like your social security number, passwords (and if so which ones), social security numbers, phone numbers, answers to security questions, and current or past addresses.

Try to understand how thieves access to the information. Did the thieves find a way to breach the bank’s security structure? Were passwords too simple? Did you or someone you mistake a bogus email for a legitimate one and provide information? Did you or a loved review or transfer money through an unsecured WiFi connection?

Solutions take time

If you do experience a breach of information with your bank, it is not an easy problem to solve. Resolutions take time and diligence.  But take heart, the results will be worth it. Addressing the issue quickly and thoroughly will help keep your financial health as secure as possible for your future–and for that of your loved ones.