My friends, we just found out that a major data breach has placed a lot of people in jeopardy. We all need to be on the alert due to the breach at one of the nation’s largest email marketing companies, Epsilon Interactive. As a result of this breach, potentially millions of names and email addresses are in the hands of online hackers. (and I’m hoping mine is not one of them)
If a company believes that your information is among those compromised you will be contacted by email. The email will say that your name and email may have been compromised – but no follow-up action with the company will be required by you. They will just be making sure that you are aware of the situation so you can watch for any suspicious emails.
The menacing hackers who stole the information will probably be sending phishing emails asking for your personal information. Phishing emails will often appear to be from a legitimate company that you have had dealings with, but are in fact crafted to solicit your personal banking information and social security number.
As we all know, we should always be careful when opening emails but for now you should be extra cautious.
The Attorney General of Oregon, John Kroger, reminds everyone that legitimate companies will never ask you for a bank account or social security number or username and password in an email. Common examples of phishing emails including fake “package delivery confirmation” and “bank account” emails of the past.
The Attorney General, John Kroger, offers the following tips to stay safe from online hackers.
Never respond to an email soliciting personal information. If you suspect it might be legitimate, pick-up the phone and call the company directly.
Do not click on any links embedded in phishing emails. They may contain viruses or malware designed to steal your personal information.
Make sure your computer has up to date anti-virus software.
This problem seems to be centered in the Pacific Northwest in the area of Oregon but we all know that email addresses are not confined to only one area.
Anyone who has suffered a financial loss should call the Attorney General’s office in their state.
The Associated Press has released a list of some of the companies affected by the breach. That list is included below.
From The Associated Press
Companies whose customers’ email addresses were subject to a security breach at Internet marketing company Epsilon, a unit of Alliance Data Systems Corp.:
Amazon.con Inc.’s AbeBooks subsidiary
Ameriprise Financial Inc., asset management and financial planning company
Barclays Bank. Company says breach affects U.S. customers of Barclaycard
Best Buy Co.
Capital One Financial Corp.
Citigroup Inc. Company says information limited to customers of Citi’s North American credit card businesses.
The College Board, not-for-profit organization that runs the SATs.
Ethan Allen Interiors Inc., home furnishings retailer.
Hilton Worldwide, hotel chain whose brands include Hilton, DoubleTree, Hampton Inn and Waldolf Astoria.
HSN Inc., a retailer with roots in the Home Shopping Network.
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Kroger Co., grocery chain
Marriott International Inc., hotel chain whose brands include Marriott, Renaissance, Fairfield Inn and Ritz-Carlton
McKinsey & Co., a management consulting firm. Company says breach affected only subscribers of McKinsey Quarterly magazine
New York & Co., apparel chain
TiVo Inc., digital video recorder service
U.S. Bancorp, financial company whose brands include U.S. Bank.
Walgreen Co., drug store chain
Walt Disney Co.’s travel subsidiary, Disney Destinations.
Always use caution. Protect your personal information.
- What Do All These Data Breaches Mean for Your Phone? (mylookout.com)