The Target Hack Is Back — Here’s How To Protect Yourself

First: Check your bank statement.

You might want to check your credit card statement ASAP. According to The New York Times, more than 1,000 businesses in the U.S. have been made vulnerable to a cyberattack that affects the cash register system at places like Target, UPS Stores and Supervalu. Translation: Someone may now have your credit card information — and more.

We first got wind of this attack — executed via malware called “backoff” — this past winter when Target confirmed that millions of customers’ information was made vulnerable to hackers. The malware lets hackers scrape card info for sale on the black market.

Friday (August 22), The Times reported that the issue from this past winter went deeper than initially thought. “Hackers are pilfering the data of millions of payment cards from American consumers without companies knowing about it, according to a new Department of Homeland Security advisory released Friday afternoon,” the publication wrote.

Moreover, Target, UPS and Supervalu are not the only companies affected — the remaining companies have not yet stepped forward and the Secret Service has said that more than 1,000 American businesses could have been affected.

While you likely shouldn’t panic at this juncture, there are a few steps you should take if you think your card might have been endangered:

Keep alert: CNN Money points out that criminals now have access to your contact info. If you receive any suspicious calls, don’t give them your personal information. If someone claiming to be your bank calls you, hang up and call your bank directly using the number on your card.

Be proactive: CNN also adds that if you’ve shopped at the aforementioned companies in the past, you should probably call your bank. They may send you a new card. Also, definitely check your bank statement for weird charges.

Change your passwords: You should be doing this regularly, but do it now if you think you’ve been affected. ASAP. For all of your accounts and email services.

Breathe: As Mercury News points out, you aren’t responsible for fraudulent charges. Call your bank if you notice any foul play.

Get informed: To find out more about identity theft and the like, check out the FTC’s website or call 877-IDTHEFT (438-4338).

Senior writer/editor at MTV News. Former Mashable associate editor & CNN columnist. "Stuff Hipsters Hate" co-writer. Moshpit fan.
@BrennaEhrlich