Maine is the latest entity to release information about a Russia-based cyber attack in May of 2023. This announcement follows similar statements by Louisiana, Colorado, and Oregon, along with several Federal agencies. In total, over 2,500 agencies and 70 million consumers have been affected. Maine announced that 1.3 million people were involved, of which approximately 530,000 were residents. The state of Maine has created a website devoted to the breach.
What can you do at this point to protect yourself?
1. Change Passwords: The first step should be to change all passwords, especially for accounts that contain sensitive information. Use strong, unique passwords for each account.
2. Monitor Financial Accounts: Keep a close eye on your bank accounts, credit card statements, and any other financial accounts for any suspicious activity.
3. Contact Financial Institutions: If you notice any fraudulent activity, contact your bank or credit card company immediately. They can help you dispute the charges and secure your accounts.
4. Report to Authorities: If you notice that you have activity consistent with a breach, report it to law enforcement.
5. Check Your Credit Reports: In the U.S., you can get a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once a year through AnnualCreditReport.com. Look for any unfamiliar accounts or charges.
6. Set Up Fraud Alerts: Contact one of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion) to set up fraud alerts, which will make it harder for someone to open new accounts in your name.
7. Enable a credit freeze on all credit reporting companies: This prevents anyone from accessing your credit reports without your permission, including potential lenders, making it harder for thieves to open new accounts in your name.
8. Update Your Computer’s Security: Make sure your computer has the latest security updates and anti-virus software.
9. Be Wary of Phishing Attempts: Be cautious of emails or messages asking for personal information. Cybercriminals may try to exploit the situation by posing as a company or bank.
10. Educate Yourself: Stay informed about the latest scams and tactics used by cybercriminals so you can better protect yourself in the future.
11. Consider Identity Theft Protection Services: These services can monitor your credit and personal information, alert you to potential fraud, and assist you in recovering from identity theft.
12. Enable MFA: Make sure to enable Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) on all accounts that have this feature available.