Home Depot Reveals More Troubling Details of Recent Data Breach

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Home Depot Reveals More Troubling Details of Recent Data BreachIn a data breach that has proven larger than the high-profile Target hack last year, Home Depot reveals that, in addition to customer credit and debit cards, customer emails were also compromised. As reported by CNN Money, a company representative confirmed yesterday that as many as 53 million customer emails were accessed. That’s in addition to 56 million credit and debit card numbers.

As I blogged a couple of months ago, Home Depot’s network was breached as far back as April, with the malware undetected until September. That’s a good five or six months’ worth of hacking, which explains why so many millions of cards and emails were affected.

What’s a Home Depot Customer to Do?

If you were affected by the data breach, expect to receive notification from Home Depot (if you haven’t already). While the company will no doubt have a set of warnings and instructions of its own, some general suggestions include the following:

  • Check your online credit or debit card account regularly. Daily is best, as the sooner you detect a fraudulent transaction, the sooner you can report it and minimize the damage.
  • Watch out for emails that ask you for personal information. No email passwords were compromised, as they were in a separate file, but email addresses can be damaging when thieves fool consumers into believing they are making legitimate requests for personal information.

Beyond that, consider these tips for protecting yourself from an in-store data breach.

More About the Breach

A Home Depot representative confirmed today that the hackers stole the username and password of a third-party vendor. Though this information did not give the thieves direct access to customer information, it did allow them to install malware on in-store point-of-sale systems.

Does the threat of a data breach have you worried this holiday season? If so, you’re not alone. A recent Gallup crime poll shows hacking worries Americans the most.

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