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According to one report, in the 1st 2 months of 2017 13 million people have had personal information compromised.  In February some of the companies that were impacted were the music festival Coachella , the Arby’s restaurant chain, a company that creates stuffed animals CloudPets and the Intercontinental Hotel Group.  In February, customer names and email addresses topped the list as the most-often stolen pieces of data, each impacting roughly 46 percent of the companies reporting.

In the case of CloudPets, they stole over 2.2 million voice recordings from kids and parent plus over 820,000 e-mail addresses.  With Arby’s  cyber criminals, between October 2016 to February 2017, breached their credit card systems, stealing information from around 335,000 credit cards. 

What to do when it happens to you:

When notified of a breach by a company, make sure to gather as much information as possible.  Take advantage of any credit monitoring offered.

After a breach pay particular attention and watch out for phishing attacks. In many cases, criminals will use contact information as a way to gain more sensitive information.  If your email or phone number is stolen, watch for suspicious emails and text messages that seem to be asking for more information that you’re comfortable giving.  Also avoid e-mails and text messages that want you to confirm information that the sender should already know.  You can always contact the company via independently garnered contact information if you’re ever worried to verify that the e-mail or text message is legit.

When financial is stolen, it’s important that data breach victims monitor their bank accounts and credit cards for fraudulent activity. Frequently review you accounts via the web.  Contact your bank or credit provider if you see anything that looks odd.


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