Watch Out! You Might Be Part of the Target Breach

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

Not too long ago, I received word that my information was part of the Target security breach. This came as a surprise to me for a couple of reasons:

  1. Originally, Target said that only those who shopped in the store during certain dates were subject to this breach, and I hadn’t shopped at Target during those times.
  2. I haven’t actually shopped at Target in years, since there isn’t one where I live.

However, I have used in the last two years, and I have been inside a Target in the last five years. Apparently this was enough for my name, address, phone number, and email to be taken. Target is offering a year of free monitoring from Experian as part of its effort to provide restitution.

If you are concerned about what might be done with this information, or if you are worried that your debit or credit information has been taken, you will have to be a little more vigilant going forward.

Changing Card Information

If you think your card information might have been compromised, it makes sense to change that account number as quickly as possible. In most cases, this can be done by calling the issuer. If you are fast enough, all you need is a new card number. When my credit card number was one of those stolen during the PlayStation Network hack of a few years ago, I called my issuer and they assigned a new number to my account, and sent me a new card. The same thing can be done with a debit card. A new card number can be connected to your checking account, without the need for you to get a new bank account altogether (which can be a pain).

Be Vigilant

You will also need to be vigilant about your credit report going forward. Make sure you check regularly for this information. You can get one free report from each of the bureaus through and free sites like Quizzle offer you access to the information in other reports (for example, Quizzle offers access to Equifax data). And, of course, you can pay for access to your credit reports.

It might not be a bad idea to sign up for the credit monitoring offered by Target. That way, you can at least be alerted if someone opens credit in your name. Staying on top of that is important, since you don’t want your credit ruined by a fraudster. It’s a good idea to check anyway, but if you have ever done any business with Target, your information might be at risk.

It’s hard to know the extent of this breach, since it appears that Target doesn’t actually know the extent of it, either. It keeps getting worse. If you have ever shopped at target, in person or online, your information could very well be compromised.

This is another reason, too, that I’ve started to use a credit card more when I do my shopping. I pay it off each month, but it’s only one card, and it’s easy to change the account number if I need to.

Bonus Tip:

You can seriously cut your Internet and TV costs. Find a Verizon FiOS promotion code here and you might be able to spend less every month.

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