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Five Important Lessons from Recent Data Breaches

  • Five Important Lessons from Recent Data Breaches-

    Carefully consider whether to offer free credit monitoring to consumers

    When a breach involves payment card information and no Social Security numbers, companies like Target often make the mistake of offering free credit monitoring. They’re trying to reassure consumers, but instead may give them a false sense of security. Credit monitoring looks at changes to a credit file that have been reported to Experian, Equifax or TransUnion. Credit monitoring does not monitor existing credit accounts. So, if a Target customer enrolls in the credit monitoring solution provided by Target, that customer would not be alerted if an existing account — in this case, credit cards and payment cards — was used fraudulently. The only way for Target customers to find out if an existing credit or payment card is misused is by monitoring their payment card accounts for suspicious activity.

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Five Important Lessons from Recent Data Breaches

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  • Five Important Lessons from Recent Data Breaches-6

    Carefully consider whether to offer free credit monitoring to consumers

    When a breach involves payment card information and no Social Security numbers, companies like Target often make the mistake of offering free credit monitoring. They’re trying to reassure consumers, but instead may give them a false sense of security. Credit monitoring looks at changes to a credit file that have been reported to Experian, Equifax or TransUnion. Credit monitoring does not monitor existing credit accounts. So, if a Target customer enrolls in the credit monitoring solution provided by Target, that customer would not be alerted if an existing account — in this case, credit cards and payment cards — was used fraudulently. The only way for Target customers to find out if an existing credit or payment card is misused is by monitoring their payment card accounts for suspicious activity.

With another security incident making recent headlines, we're looking at five major data loss events in the past month alone. In looking at the responses of Target, Neiman-Marcus, Michaels, Coke and others, companies can learn a lot from how other organizations respond to data breaches - and implement better practices.

This slideshow features five important lessons learned and key takeaways from recent data breaches for businesses that want to protect themselves from similar disasters, as identified by Mark McCurley, senior information security advisor of IDentity Theft 911, a leading provider of personal-touch identity management solutions, identity theft recovery services, breach services and data risk management solutions for businesses.