Chase glitchOn Wednesday evening, a number of Chase Bank customers experienced what the company has referred to as a “glitch” that allowed both mobile and desktop users to access other people’s accounts after providing their own login credentials. Although an official statement addressing Chase customers has yet to be released, JP Morgan Chase communications director Trish Wexler has been quoted by Bloomberg and by Krebs on Security detailing what Chase currently knows about the situation. Continue reading to learn more about the incident and to understand how it could impact you.

What exactly happened?

On Wednesday, Feb. 21, customers began complaining about the login issue mentioned above. It’s not exactly clear how many accounts fell victim to this accidental exposure, though Wexler suggests that it only happened to “a pretty limited number of customers.” Unfortunately, since this exposure happened during login, anyone granted access to an account that wasn’t theirs had full control over it – much like they would with their own account. The implications of such a glitch are unnerving, but luckily, the incident was only temporary and resolved pretty quickly after the fact. Wexler stated that the glitch wasn’t the result of malicious actors, which is somewhat reassuring because it means this incident wasn’t a hack or a data breach. Still, this fact probably provides little solace to any customers whose accounts might have been exploited during the mix-up. It’s not exactly clear how many accounts the glitch exposed, as Chase seems to still be conducting an investigation and the bank hasn’t officially acknowledged the occurrence of unauthorized transactions taking place. Some customers, however, have taken to social media to express their grievances and to report instances of transaction fraud.

What can I do to protect myself?

Unfortunately, there isn’t much consumers can do whenever a server or content delivery network experiences a hiccup. That said, since these issues, along with data breaches and other types of hacks, seem inevitable, consumers need to be prepared. If you’re a Chase bank customer, here are some steps you may want to take:

1. Enable two-factor authentication. Although it might not have protected you from this glitch, two-factor authentication (2FA) is a helpful tool to have because it sends you a code anytime you or someone else tries to log into your account, which means it can alert you to future hacks. Additionally, it’s probably also a good time to change your password. While there’s no evidence that passwords were leaked, it never hurts to take extra precautions.

2. Consider opening new bank accounts. Because the glitch allowed strangers to see the full details of accounts that didn’t belong to them, it might make sense to either open up new accounts with Chase or simply switch banks entirely. Keep in mind that just because you don’t see any transactions on your accounts today doesn’t mean that someone didn’t look up your account and routing numbers and store them for future use. As such, if you opt to keep your current accounts, you’ll want to make sure you keep a very close eye on them and report any unfamiliar activity as soon as you spot it.

3. Practice good cybersecurity habits. We are often talking about how it’s important to have good cybersecurity habits, both when banking and when doing other activities online. Although these habits don’t prevent glitches, breaches or hacks, they can mitigate some of the worst consequences that come from falling victim to these incidents.

For more information on current and emerging cybersecurity threats, keep reading our identity theft protection blog.