NEWS FROM THE LAB - Friday, February 23, 2007

Credit Card Data Breaches Posted by Sean @ 13:50 GMT

There's been quite a lot of news regarding TJX Companies and their data breach. The most recent news is that the amount of data stolen was greater than was earlier reported during January.

TJX is the parent company of Marshalls and TJMaxx (TKMaxx in Europe). The breach affects a great many people and their credit card numbers. Click here and here for more details.

Some journalists from Sweden visited for an interview a few weeks ago. As more and more financial transactions are occurring online, Mikko was asked a question along the lines of… What can average consumers do to protect themselves from credit card fraud?

And the answer was in essence – Carefully read and review your billing statement.

Billing Statement

This is true whether you shop online or not. TJX operates "brick and mortar" stores. Yet, your credit card transactions exist on their network. Most business transactions are "online" today in one way or another.

So review and audit your statement each month. If you have access to it electronically then perhaps review it more often. If you see anything that you don't recognize – call your card issuer. We've sought information many times in the past (forgetful after long trips) and the people on the other end of the line were always very willing to assist.