If you shopped at Target this holiday season, your sensitive credit card details and personal information could now be in the hands of hackers nationwide.
After acquiring access to the central payment systems Target relies on to process all its credit card charges, the data thieves were able to download masses of credit card numbers, personal details, and even information on what was purchased with each card. Other at-risk factors include gift certificates that were purchased containing in-depth profiles of shoppers, including their home address, phone numbers, and the bank they use to manage their money.
Over the course of three weeks from November 27th to December 15th, the hackers hoarded millions of transactions and sent all their spoils to a central server located somewhere in Russia. Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel reassured his customers in a statement online:
“We take this matter very seriously and are working with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice.”
If you spent your hard earned holiday money at any Target stores in your area during this time, be sure to keep a close eye on your bank account and immediately report any suspicious transactions that take place. No one who had their information stolen has reported anything yet, but it’s assumed the attackers behind the heist will spend several weeks laying low until the story dies down, and then take their turn to strike.
Whenever you shop online or at a brick and mortar store, you want to be sure that your credit card is protected, especially during volatile times of the year like this. We recommend using prepaid debit cards whenever you are out and about in the world, and never giving your number away to anyone who might use it maliciously or attempt to make charges without your explicit permission.