Well, the answer to that is both yes and no, which, I’m sure isn’t exactly what you want to hear. We’ve all seen in the news in the last year or so about a lot of the retailers that were hacked. Target, eBay and Schnucks come to mind. Fact of the matter is, there’s a whole lot of people who, by either pure enjoyment or job duty, try to hack into everything from the biggest retailers and banks to just the average Joe’s email account. Truth be told, it can be very profitable and that’s why most do it. Whether that be from stealing an identity and spending lots of money, clearing bank accounts or selling your personal information to marketing companies, somebody is gaining from it.
This number may scare you a bit, 630,432,294. That is the total number of records exposed in breaches since 2005. Shocking right? What’s even more shocking is that number could be 10 times that amount if it wasn’t for the extremely intelligent individuals who work to prevent hacker attacks on a day to day basis.
If you were exposed in one of the recent big box breaches, most likely your financial institution would have contacted you when the information was received. In fact, most banks and credit unions went ahead and gave everybody new cards and card numbers just to be safe. Here are a few tips to follow regarding breaches:
- Monitor your bank accounts – check the balance every day.
- Make sure your bank has issued you a new card with a new card number for each one associated with the account.
- Make sure you mark any emails that make it into your inbox that are unfamiliar, as SPAM.
- Change all of your online passwords – banking, social media, email, etc.
Hopefully it will be a long time until the next one, however, take this as a reminder to be vigilant and be careful where you make purchases.