Saturday, March 31, 2012

Data breaches and you

Whenever another major data breach is announced, whether you get a letter from the card provider or not, it might have been one of your cards whose personal information is now in the hands of hackers.  Today's Washington Post story makes clear that this particular data breach affects both Visa and Master Card, and took place at one of the service providers for both cards.

This breach will spawn other attempts to get further information from you.  If you receive an email that purports to be from Visa or MasterCard saying that your account has been compromised, and which asks you to "click here," DO NOT CLICK.  You will never be contacted by email to rectify problems like this. 

It will probably not be clear for some time exactly what or whose information was exposed, so your best recourse is to monitor any accounts you have with either Visa or Master Card for the next several months.  If you find unauthorized charges, contact the issuer immediately to get the charges reversed.  And ask them what they have done to make sure this does not happen again with their subcontractor(s).

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