How to Protect Yourself From Store Data Breaches - NBC Southern California
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How to Protect Yourself From Store Data Breaches

Here are tips on how to protect yourself from possible data breaches at stores such as Home Depot

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The hacking of Home Depot's payment card system in April could have serious consequences for customers who have bought items from the retailer using credit or debits card. The NBC4 I-Team's Randy Mac offers advice on how consumers can protect themselves for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014. (Published Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014)

    Home Depot's brand is built on DIY -- "do it yourself."

    But the company's recent data breach is a problem they will need help in fixing.

    Millions of customers may have had their account information compromised.

    Cyber security experts say these types of hacks are going to continue. We've seen Target stores, P.F. Chang's, now Home Depot.

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    These are major companies whose security has been breached, possibly placing your credit and debit card information in the hands of thieves.

    Home Depot's data breach may be the largest of its kind for a retailer, affecting roughly 60 million customers in the United States and Canada.

    According to the company's website, the payment card system was hacked in April of this year.

    That's the system that's left customer credit and debit card accounts exposed to identity thieves.

    Anyone who has used a credit or debit card at a Home Depot store since April is potentially at risk.

    Security experts, tracking Home Depot's data breach, report stolen account information is already being sold to criminals online.

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    Elissa Barrett, the director of the California Consumer Justice Coalition, says consumer information is being sold and demands immediate action on the part of Home Depot customers.

    Here are tips on how to protect yourself:

    • Check your account for any suspicious activity;
    • Report any unrecognized purchases;
    • Be suspicious of anyone contacting you to "verify" your account information by phone or email;
    • Check your accounts. Even if you pay online, each use of your credit or debit card leaves a trail. Hackers are following that trail because it leads to cash, whether they sell the information or duplicate an account themselves;
    • Home Depot is offering free ID theft protection and credit monitoring.

    For more information visit, Consumer Justice's website.

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