Hackers stole about 40 million credit and debit card records from Target. Read the official release from Target. During this busy holiday season, thinking about hackers and identity theft is probably the last thing on your mind, but a few steps now could safeguard your identity and finances in the future.
Here are six things you need to know if you or a friend might be affected by a data breach, at Target or anywhere else:
1) If you used a debit card at Target, change your PIN immediately. Also change the PIN of any other accounts using that same code. Learn how to create a safe and secure PIN by clicking here.
2) Check your credit/debit card accounts daily, looking for any unusual, suspicious activity. Don't wait for the paper statement to come in the mail; check your account online every day. Report any fraudulent charges immediately.
3) In the next couple months, request a copy of your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies. Everyone is entitled to request a free copy of their credit report once a year at http://www.annualcreditreport.com
4) Be wary of anyone calling you saying they represent Target, your bank, or other financial institution. Never give out any personal information to a solicitor. You can always politely hang up with them, and call the institution directly to verify their inquiry.
5) An increase in spam and phishing e-mails are likely, posing as Target or your bank. Never reply to an e-mail and supply any of your personal information. Before clicking on a link, hover your mouse over the link to see the full URL. If it looks unusual or suspicious, do not click on it. Drop the e-mail in your Spam folder and delete it.
6) When shopping at a retailer, always say "Credit" when paying with plastic, even if it's a debit card, because there are more legal protections for you the consumer charging it as credit.
We hope you have a very safe and secure holiday season. If you have any questions regarding cyber liability insurance, please contact our specialists by calling 1-800-406-0042.