Are you a Target for identity thieves?

The most recent headline concerning potential identity theft has been the serious rupture of security at retail giant Target – the second largest breach in U.S. history. Over 40 million accounts were hacked between the dates of Nov. 27, until Dec. 15, when the activity was discovered and the system was re-secured.

                Target has recently confirmed that PIN data – your personal access codes – had also been accessed, along with all customer data such as: names, addresses, credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates and individual card security codes.

                The Minneapolis based retail giant has repeatedly stated that they are confident that the heavily encrypted PIN numbers are still secure, as they are only readable by a third-party independent payment processer.

                Although, since then there have been an uptick in reports of personal credit incursions, unsanctioned purchases and peripheral credit accounts set up in the names of those who may have had their good names - and good credit – stolen via this instance. There are measures that you can take to protect yourself, even after the fact.

                Contact your banking institution, they can walk you through all of the steps in securing your accounts, from changing account numbers, closing existing accounts and opening new ones; adding heightened security to your accounts; credit monitoring and disputing fraudulent charges, they should be able to mitigate any current damage, as well as attempt to prevent future attempts.

             Read the full article in the January 2 edition of the WCM.