NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - It's being described as the most significant data breach of federal networks in United States history. Reports say 4 million people were affected, but as Tim Leonard, Chief Information Officer at Commercial Bank of Texas, explained, when it comes to identity breaches, the number affected is far more than 4 million.
"We've all had our identity stolen at some point; it's just a matter of them getting around to your name and using it," Leonard said.
It's a shocking reality when you think just how often you're online and how much information you expose. However, if you think living a life offline is the safest route for you, Leonard said you should think again.
"Whether you're a government employee or private citizen, keeping your information from being stolen in today's environment is next to impossible. You're on too many databases, and there's too many holes in those databases," Leonard said.
How exactly do know if your identity has been stolen? Leonard said there are credible Websites that will monitor your credit report.
"If you start getting some strange mail in your mailbox, collection letters and you don't recognize who they're from, that's a red flag. If creditors start calling you saying, 'Hey you're behind on this or that,' that's a red flag," Leonard said.
What's being described as World War III, cyber warfare is expected to be the biggest threat to national security for the next 10 years. Leonard's best advice was to be proactive and monitor your online activity.
"Educate yourself, educate yourself, educate yourself! If I had to have three rules, those would be the three," Leonard said.
Leonard also said you should sign up for online, mobile, and text banking which allows you to monitor your accounts more frequently than simply receiving a monthly statement.
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