Concerned About the Target Security Breach?
By now you have probably heard about Target's massive data breach that could affect up to 40 million customer credit and debit card accounts.
A data or security breach occurs when records containing sensitive personal information, such as Social Security numbers or credit card/bank account numbers, are lost, stolen or accessed improperly.
Keep in mind, just because your information was part of a security breach doesn't necessarily mean that you'll become a victim of fraud or identity theft, but it does put you at greater risk.
To protect yourself, make sure you:
- Check your credit and debit card accounts and report suspicious charges to your bank or credit card company immediately. Also, request a new card with a different card number and change any PINs or passwords for the affected account.
- Check your credit reports. Once criminals have your personal information, they may use it to open new accounts in your name. Everyone is allowed a free credit report per year from each of the three credit bureaus. Breach victims can also request a fraud alert from one of credit bureaus, and should consider a security freeze for maximum protection.
- Check out a detailed list of tips for what to do after a security breach from the North Carolina Attorney General's Office.
- The Target data breach is a good reminder that we all need to watch our accounts for unauthorized charges and monitor our credit on a regular basis, especially during the busy holiday shopping season. Get more tips from the North Carolina Attorney General's Office on protecting yourself from crimes and scams at www.ncdoj.gov.