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Adam K. Levin formulates 3Ms for Affected Consumers in the Marriott Breach to safeguard their Personal Info

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CEO Insights Team

CEO Insights Team

The incident which overran all the biggest single breaches of personal consumer data till date – Marriott Breach entails the breach of private information of 500 million people including their emails, names, addresses, passport numbers and payment card information by an unknown hacker, since 2014. The breach in fact also impacted people who stayed at Marriott and Starwood Properties across the world.

Addressing this alarming breach, Adam K. Levin, Chairman & Founder of CyberScout, Co-Founder of credit.com and the author of Swiped, formulated the 3Ms for the affected consumers to safeguard their personal information. A consumer advocate with 30+ years of experience, Adam is the former Director of the New Jersey Division on Consumer Affairs and a nationally acclaimed expert on cybersecurity, privacy, identity theft, fraud, and personal finance.

With the first M meaning ‘Minimize your exposure’, Adam advises affected consumers to firstly be aware of phishing attacks and immediately change passwords after attack by using a password manager or long & strong, diverse passwords that don’t repeat across accounts.

He also asks them to not authenticate themselves to anyone unless they are in control of the interaction and not click on links or attachments. The second M is ‘Monitor your accounts’ wherein Adam advocates them to check credit reports every day, keep track of credit score and check for any suspicious activity in their accounts. Moreover, he recommends them signing up for free transaction alerts from financial service institutions and credit card companies or subscribe to a credit & identity monitoring programs besides freezing their credit at all three credit reporting agencies.

The third M means ‘Manage the damage’ wherein Adam suggests the affected consumers to ensure getting on top of any incursion into their identities quickly and/or enrolling in a program where professionals can help them navigate and resolve identity compromises. These programs are available for free or sometimes at minimal cost through insurance companies, financial services institutions and HR departments.