Liz Holliday

Communications Specialist

Cyber Security Tips In The Post Target, Home Depot Breach Era

Home depot has not confirmed a breach has been made, but is stressing that customers should be on high alert to possible fraudulent charges. The important thing to keep in mind here is that whether it’s Home Deport or Target–there are things consumer can do to keep accounts safe.

Reg Harnish has worked in the cyber security field for more than 10 years. He says while news of a possible Home Depot security breach may be the most recent, this sort of crime happens all the time.

“Potentially the point of sale devices were compromised,” Harnish, said. “Or potentially cyber criminals got in to the environment at Home Depot were able to pull credit card or debit card information there.”

But before you go cutting up your credit cards and vowing to only use cash again, Harnish says there is another way; like changing passwords every 90 days, and keeping a different password for every account you have online. Additionally he says that many website now offer a double point of entry to help keep people with stolen passwords out of your information.

“When you log into Facebook, it can send a code to your phone that you have to type in and then it has a couple more pieces of information–so for cyber criminals those websites become a lot harder to compromise,” Harnish said.

Further, he says you should always keep an eye on your accounts for fraudulent claims, weeks, months even years after a breach.

“This is not a one and done situation, you need to be checking your statements all the time, every time, and its just good practice,” Harnish said.

And though Harnish agrees that all of these steps may seem a little tedious, he says answering a few extra questions and eyeing accounts is just part of a new reality in our digital world.

“Cyber crime and cyber security is here to stay and you just need to get used to it and do something different,” he said.

We did reach out to home depot’s cooperate offices for a comment on the possible breach–but was told the company is not doing on camera interviews at this time.

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