More than 100 million individuals who hold a Capitol One credit card or applied for one could have their personal information in the hands of scammers.
Industry experts say there are immediate steps you can take to protect your personal information so hackers can't get access.
1. Freeze your credit: Experts say this is an essential step to protect your data and halt scammers from creating fake accounts in your name. You can freeze your credit at one of the three credit-reporting bureaus; Equifax, Transunion and Experian. Experts say this is a much more effective way than doing a fraud alert. Credit freezes don't affect your credit score, but do prevent loans and other services from being opened in your name without your consent.
2. Enable two-factor authentication: Adding an extra layer of security to your login can go a long way because a hacker would need to have access to your mobile phone as well as your account information to get access into your account.
3. Sign up for credit monitoring: This will keep a close eye on your accounts.
4. Don't get phished: Hackers can pretend to be a trusted company or individual and try to get your information. Don't fall for it.
5. Change you passwords: Do this regularly. Experts say don't use the easy-to-guess passwords like "123456".
Capital One has offered two years of free credit monitoring but experts say that only looks for changes on a credit report. It does not prevent someone from taking out a loan in your name, which is why it's important to freeze your credit.
Consumers and small businesses who applied for Capital One credit cards from 2005 through early 2019 are most at risk.