(WHAS11) -- Most consumers know to act fast if and when they are the victim of a personal data breach. But what can you do to protect and prepare before that breach even happens?
With so much of our personal data stored in so many places, breaches have become something every consumer needs to anticipate. Everything from personal banking accounts, credit cards, even sensitive on-line work accounts can be in danger.
“The sophistication level of the breaches is getting greater. The sophistication level of the hackers is becoming more pronounced and therefore, sometimes it becomes harder to detect that you're a victim,” said the founder of Identity Theft 911.
Consumer experts like Adam Levin advise having a plan, before a breach occurs. It starts with never using the same password twice, potentially giving away access to multiple financial, email and social networking accounts. You should also have your own monitoring system, possibly spotting a breach, before your financial institution.
“You can also institute a monitoring philosophy which is, you look at your credit reports, you look at your banking accounts and credit card accounts online, everyday to make sure every transaction you make is yours,” said Levin.
Also consider signing up for programs that alert you any time a credit or debit transaction takes place. And if something looks out of place, even if you haven't officially heard from a website or institution that your information has been compromised, act fast, to curb potential damage.