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Dawson County Data Breach

Was Your Information Compromised? Here's What to Do.


Dawson County residents recently received notification of a data security breach where personal information stored by the county was compromised.  If you received this notification or are notified by another company of a breach, you may be left wondering what actions you can take to minimize the impact. Here are 10 steps we recommend.

1. Act quickly. Although in many cases you may not find out about the incident until it has been investigated and communicated, the quicker you act, the better.

2. Take advantage of free credit monitoring. If a company responsible for exposing your information offers you free credit monitoring, take advantage of it. This service will make you aware of any changes to your credit as well as support in the event your identity is compromised.

3. Get your free credit reports from annualcreditreport.com and check for any accounts or charges you don’t recognize. You can order a free report from each of the three credit bureaus once a year.

4. Contact your financial institutions. If your bank account information has been compromised, you should contact your financial institution and make them aware as well as request a new debit or credit card. 

5. Set up fraud alerts with each of the credit reporting companies. This can be done over the internet or by mail. Placing an alert informs lenders that you may have been a victim of fraud and encourages them to take steps to verify that it’s you requesting credit before granting it. Click here to view mailing addresses or visit Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion online. 


If at any point you experience actual fraud, a credit freeze may be necessary. A credit freeze restricts access to your credit file and prevents new accounts from being opened in your name, but it also means you won’t be able to apply for new credit until you temporarily lift the freeze using a PIN.   

6. Secure Your Social Security Account. The social security administration recommends you open your personal my Social Security account to take away the risk of someone else trying to create an account using your number. 

Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your social security number to get a tax refund or a job. If your social security number was compromised, file your taxes early, before a scammer can.  Also, remember the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text message or social media.

7. Take an audit of how strong and unique each of your passwords are. To strengthen your security even more, utilize multi-factor authentication. Also, use anti-virus software to protect your computer.

8. If you haven’t already, set up activity alerts for your accounts and review transactions regularly so you can better identify charges not made by you. Furthermore, be wary of phishing scam attempts that may come in the form of texts, emails, and phone calls. Keep in mind that your financial institutions will never ask you for sensitive information unprompted.

9. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. This helps law enforcement track patterns of fraud that occur. You can do this by visiting the FTC website.

10. As a Flatwater Bank personal account holder you have access to free fraud resolution services at no extra cost. If you, your spouse, or immediate family member under the age of 26 has fraud occur as a result of this or other incidents, please contact us immediately. We will get you in touch with a fraud specialist to help you resolve the issue.