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Some say there are two types of online sites. Those that know they have been hacked. And those that have been hacked, but don’t know it.


Everyone is busy. The important question is what can be done to mitigate the downside of sites being hacked.

You want two outcomes: (a) minimize the likelihood malicious hackers will empty all the cash in your accounts; (b) prevent malicious hackers from using nuggets of information to steal your identity and open new accounts in your name.

What to do.

First, don’t reuse passwords. Access by a hacker to one site should not make it easy to access every account you have on many sites. A unique password for each site should confine the damage to one site. Some use a password manager, which does simplify the process. But, that’s not mandatory. Just don’t have all your eggs in one basket.

Next, place a security freeze with all three large credit bureaus. This will make it difficult for a third party to open an account (credit card, bank, etc.) in your name. If you need to unfreeze your account to allow a known party to do a credit check, you can authorize that action for the briefest of times to get the job done. Then put the lock goes back on. Security freezes make sense for people who are not opening accounts or having credit checks done on a regular basis. This means it is useful for most people.

That’s it.

You can always do more. But, if your New Year’s Resolutions include the above tips, then you’re absolved from losing the ten pounds you’ve been promising to do every year.