Were you affected by the Capital One breach, one of the largest thefts of data from any bank to date?

On July 29, a massive data theft at Capital One was revealed, including the exposure of social security numbers and other data of more than 100 million people. So what can you do to protect yourself from this and other breaches? As PIRG Consumer Watchdog Adam Garber told The Wall Street Journal, "Freeze your credit immediately.”

Ed Mierzwinski, senior director of our federal consumer program, explained to C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, "Your social security number and your birthday are... [your] financial DNA. They have a very long shelf life."

Even if you've never had your identity stolen, it only takes one breach for hackers to cause you headaches and potential financial harm. Protecting yourself now can save you from significant financial issues down the road, even if you don't bank with Capital One.

Remember: "Freeze your credit immediately."

Learn how to freeze your credit.

Photo Caption: Our Federal Consumer Program Director Ed Mierzwinski explains the importance of freezing your credit after the Capital One data breach on C-SPAN's Washington Journal. Watch his interview here. Photo Credit: C-SPAN