As you may have heard, Marriot has reported that their Starwood reservation database was hacked, potentially compromising upwards of 500 million records. Marriott is one of the largest hotel chains in the world. Anyone who made a reservation for a Starwood property on or prior to September 18, 2018 is at risk. Breached information includes names, credit card numbers, birth dates, arrival and check out dates, and passport numbers.
Large database breaches such as this are a big problem. If a credit card gets compromised, while certainly inconvenient, the card can be changed. Personal information such as passport numbers, birth dates, and names are NOT easily changed. Major incidents such as this are likely to continue so let’s take this opportunity to practice smart security responses and behaviors.
First, understand that we live in the age of big data where vast amounts of information are stored about people. Through no fault of your own, this data can be occasionally hacked and it is important to understand what you should do if you are affected. You should always visit the official website of the breached entity or call them directly to get the facts and their recommended steps of action. Marriott has created a website - https://answers.kroll.com where people can educate themselves about the incident. One of the options they offer is people can register a free account at WebWatcher. This is a service that will notify people if their data has been hacked and is being targeted by cybercriminals. Services such as this are helpful, but there are other steps you should take when you are a victim of a breach.
In the event you do fall victim to Identity Fraud, the FTC has created a great site to help you recover -
Regardless of the situation, always practice smart.
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