Earlier this month I, like many others, received an email from Home Depot regarding a security breach in their payment data system. This was not news to me. I had already seen various posts and articles regarding the security breach floating around on the internet for weeks prior.
As expected Home Depot has increased their security and put in place measures meant to prevent this from happening again. Last December I received a similar email from Target of a breach that had occurred a month before. While it is wonderful that these companies notify their customers and put in place new measures to try and stay one step ahead of the thieves who roam the internet, it is comforting to know that there are other things we can do to protect our finances and identities.
Here are some great tips from LifeLock, a provider of identity theft protection services for consumers, to help if you’ve been affected by this most recent breach and to help reduce your risk when future breaches occur.
- Monitor your transactions: Keep an eye on the activity on your credit and debit card accounts, looking for any charges that don’t seem to be yours.
- Report suspicious transactions immediately: If you see a card transaction—even a small one—that doesn’t look right, contact the card issuer immediately. The phone number is on the back of your card.
- Order a new debit card: If you believe your debit card number was compromised, don’t wait for fraudulent charges to start appearing on your statement. Request a new card from your bank. This way, you reduce the chances of a criminal depleting your bank account, and you avoid potential challenges in recovering your funds. Credit cards offer more protection and less risk because funds are not directly withdrawn from your bank account as they are with a debit card.
- Follow the story: Investigation of this crime is still under way. Watch for news and communication from Home Depot.
- Consider using an identity protection service: LifeLock provides identity protection products and services you can count on. In fact, with LifeLock Advantage™ and LifeLock Ultimate Plus™, we can help you detect fraudulent activity with alerts for cash withdrawals, balance transfers and large purchases within our extensive network.
LifeLock is currently offering a 10% discount on their security plans!
Use the promo code “breachwatch”.