5 On Your Side

Simple steps can help protect financial information

Posted August 28, 2014 5:25 p.m. EDT
Updated August 28, 2014 5:51 p.m. EDT

Hackers hit JP Morgan Chase and at least four other banks in a coordinated cyber-attack, possibly getting away with customer checking and savings account information.

JP Morgan released a statement saying, "Companies of our size unfortunately experience cyber-attacks nearly every day. We have multiple layers of defense to counteract any threats and constantly monitor fraud levels."

The company says it has not yet seen any suspicious activity so far.

Bloomberg first reported the attack, saying it appears to be the work of Russian cyber-thieves. Reports call it a sophisticated operation that may be in retaliation for U.S. financial sanctions against Russia.

Federal investigators are working to track the hackers and their motivation, calling cyber criminals a "top priority."

Eighty percent of executives surveyed by the World Economic Forum said their organizations cannot keep up with the increasing sophistication of hackers.

Here’s what consumers can do to help protect their private information:

• Create long passwords with upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols, and change them frequently.
• Do not click links from unknown senders.
• Don't store financial card info on websites.
• Regularly check your accounts for suspicious activity.
• Check your credit reports online. Get one free report per year from each of the three credit reporting agencies.