Washington AG tells consumers how to stay protected after data breach

SEATTLE -- If you have a Capital One credit card or have applied for one, your personal data may be compromised.

Seattle tech worker, Paige Thompson, is accused of hacking into Capital One's system and gaining access to the personal information of millions of credit applications.

Washington's Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, says after a data breach of this size everyone should take steps to protect themselves.

"Folks need to make sure they’re checking their credit reports and monitoring what’s going on," Ferguson explained.

Another option is freezing your credit. Taking this step means that no one will be able to have access to your credit reports without your permission.

For example, if someone tries to take out a loan in your name, banks can't review your report so they won't authorize the credit.

Capital One officials say the company will offer free credit monitoring services to those who were affected and they have notified Washington's Attorney General's office about the breach.

Washington laws also require Capital One to contact consumers directly impacted by the breach within 30 days.

The attorney general also recommends that impacted consumers directly alert his office as well.

"If they’ve been impacted by the data breach if they had their information stolen or lost dollars, they should let my office know that helps us to look at next steps for my office to take," said Ferguson.