Before we begin, we want to make very clear that 360 Payments has never experienced a data breach. It’s next to impossible that we ever will due to the fact that we do not store customer card data. The major breaches you read about in which millions of credit card numbers are stolen come about because many companies store this data in-house. We do not, and never will.


Hackers are getting smarter and smarter, and unfortunately business owners and software companies don’t always keep up. As hack after hack comes across our news feeds and TV screens, it can start to feel like there’s no way your data is still secure. While many companies reach out to affected consumers once a data breach occurs, it can be hard to keep up with it all. Here’s how you can figure out if your online account information has been stolen and take steps to make sure it never happens again.



1. Figure Out if Your Data Has Been Compromised



We’ve found a service called Have I Been Pwned that will help you determine if your online accounts have been compromised. When you enter the site, you’ll be prompted to enter your email address. Type it in and click the “pwned?” button. (If you have multiple email addresses, you’ll need to repeat this process for every address you use.) The site will show you if there are any sites where you use that email to login that have reported breaches and give you the details, including what was stolen. In many cases the stolen data involves usernames and passwords, but sometimes it is more extensive.



2. Take Corrective Action



The first thing you should do if you see that your data has been compromised is to change your password for the affected site. You should never use the same password for more than one site or service, but if you do you should change it everywhere you use it to be safe. Monitor affected accounts carefully for unusual activity or logins and ensure that your privacy, payment, and other critical settings are exactly what you expect them to be. Finally, if the compromised site contains some of your most sensitive data (such as credit card information or SSN), exercise extra vigilance. Check your bank statements and credit report regularly for charges and changes you don’t recognize. Invest in an identity theft protection service if you want even more peace of mind.



3. Develop Better Security Habits



There are steps you can take to protect yourself so that future data breaches don’t devastate you. Use a unique username and password combination that is hard to guess for each and every site and store this information in a safe place. Consider a password manager like LastPass or 1Passsword, which will not only store your passwords securely but will allow you to change them quickly and easily and even generate them automatically for you. Next, enable two-factor authentication on any accounts that allow it. It might seem like a pain to have to get a text and punch in a code every time you log into that account, but you’re providing an additional layer of security that requires the hacker to have both your username and password and access to your cell phone. Finally, consider signing up for notifications to alert you when your online details have been involved in a hack. Have I Been Pwned offers a service that will email you if your information is compromised. While this won’t stop a data breach from happening, it will allow you to get on top of the problem quickly and protect your accounts.



An Ounce of Prevention….



There are plenty of things you can do to protect yourself from a potential data breach, including the tips we’ve included above. If a data breach does occur and your account information is affected, acting quickly to shore up your defenses is also important. At 360 Payments, we take the security of your information very seriously and take many steps to protect you and your customers every day. Give us a call at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website and we’ll show you how we do it.



PS – Here’s how your business can outsmart hackers.



PPS – You no longer need signatures for all credit card transactions. Should you require them anyway?