|Can You Feel The Chill?|
How, in an era when everything is suppose to be so safe, could this have happened? What steps could Target could have taken to prevent this total disregard for privacy? And what can you do to prevent something like this from happening to you?
Are We Truly Safe?
I personally know people whom have been affected from this security breach. Most Americans view technology as “safe”, but if it is so safe why do similar problems keep arising?
The problem is that as Americans, we constantly let our guard down. When a terrorist attack happens like 9/11, we quickly throw up the fences and keep everything and everyone that looks out of place out. We become untrusting. Then as those memories fade from time, we lower our fences, become trusting, and eventually lower our guards.
Could Target have done more to ensure that this breach could not happen? This situation is a double-edged sword. As companies continue to grow, it is harder for them to maintain such massive digital networks especially those that process payments.
Maybe if they devoted more manpower or used better software to keep out hackers, but these fall in the what if category.
On the other hand, if they knew that their system had been compromised, a month earlier, they could have alerted their customers ahead of time, of course, they would run the risk of loosing sales in the busy holiday season.
Fortunately, there are excellent financial protection products, such as Life Lock, that can protect and guard your financial accounts from malicious purchases and money withdrawals.
So, how do you prevent identify theft from happening to you? Below are some simple tips that can ensure that your information never gets in the wrong hands.
- Buy Online – Target’s online store was not breached.
- Purchase From Trusted Websites
- Only Purchase from sites that use ( ssl or https: as prefixs in the web address cart or check out page)
- When in doubt, sign up with a credit monitoring service
- Get a copy of your credit report to insure all is well
- Notify banks, credit card companies, and loan issuers if you believe your account has been compromised.
- Close accounts
- Make purchase on a disposable debit card, such as Green Dot®
- Use Cash
When in doubt, walk away! There is no way the general public could have known about the security breech that affected Target stores for nearly a month. Big box retailers are in the business to make money. Target will have a long road ahead in trying to get back its customers. Events like these can be devastating to any business big or small.
We have to make sure that our guard is up all of the time. It’s your information and money; you have to stay vigilant if you don’t want your identity stolen!
- (US) Consumer Action Handbook 2013 – www.usa.gov/topics/consumer/consumer-action-handbook.pdf
- US Federal Trade Commission / Identify Theft – www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identify-theft
- Credit Karma (100% Free) – www.creditkarma.com/credit-monitoring
- Experian Direct – www.triplealert.com ($8.95 mo.)
- Life Lock – www.lifelock.com ($10 up to $25 mo.)
- ID Theft Center – www.idtheft.org
- Free Credit Report – www.annualcreditreport.com (free to US citizens)
- Experian – www.experian.com
- Transunion – www.transunion.com
- Equifax – www.equifax.com