For some people finding out their credit card company experienced a data breach sounds like a nightmare. The Discover breach is an excellent example of this. In January, Discover Card filed an incident report with the California Attorney General’s office stating that cardholders’ information had been breached. Apparently, the actual breach occurred on Aug. 13, 2018. Discover Card has been very vague about the details but did say the breach did not affect any Discover Card systems. However, they did indicate that cardholders were affected, and personal data was accessed. It is unclear if the data was stolen from third parties who had access to Discover Card accounts or some other means. But the data did show up on the dark web for sale.
When Was the Discover Card Breach?
The Discover data breach took place on Aug. 13, 2018. Discover Card did not notify the Attorney General immediately. The data stolen was not listed, but experts assume credit card numbers, expiration dates, PIN codes, names, emails, and possibly additional personal details were accessed and stolen.
How to Check if You're a Victim of Discover Breach
Discover Card sent email notifications to all cardholders who were affected. Unfortunately, the email was a bit vague and scared many customers. They also reissued cards to all members who were included in the Discover Card data breach. Discover did not disclose how many cardholders were affected, but it is expected to be in the millions. They do have this page on their website advising customers about data breaches.
What to Do if Your Data Was Breached
If you received a notice, then Discover has probably issued you a new credit card. You might want to take actions for data breach just to be safe. You should follow these steps to secure your accounts:
- Check credit card and bank statements for any malicious activity since August of 2018.
- Change all your bank and credit card login passwords. Make your passwords very strong by using a combination of letters, symbols, and numbers.
- Run a scan of your computer to be sure you weren’t infected with malware from any phishing emails.
- Review your credit report and sign up for credit monitoring from a service.
Can My Hacked Discover Information be Used for Identity Theft?
Identity theft is a real concern, especially considering that Discover Card did not disclose what type of information was stolen, and it turned up on the dark web for sale. Things like name, email address, and phone numbers are enough to snag you in a phishing scam or possible hack attempt. Any bit of stolen information can give cybercriminals a thread to pull to ensnare innocent victims using viruses, malware, or ransomware. You cannot be too careful when protecting yourself against identity theft. That is why services like IDStrong.com are so important in helping you continuously monitor your accounts for fraud.
What to Do to Protect Yourself and Keep Your Credit Cards Safe
We use credit cards every day without thinking about the ramifications. Credit card companies collect a lot of information on us to approve our accounts. All that information is stored somewhere on a server and could be hacked or acquired by criminals. Some tips to keep your credit cards safe are:
- Use only one credit card for all online purchases and monitor those statements carefully each month for signs of abuse.
- Never use debit cards online.
- Keep an eye on your bank statements and look for suspicious activity.
- Be very watchful for any phishing or scam emails. They may look legitimate, but they will try to get you to click a link, verify your identity, or download an attachment. Never do any of these things, they may infect your computer with a virus.