Millions of people are now getting new debit cards, or will soon be receiving one, as a result of the Target security breach over the holidays. It's another reminder that there are some lessons the scare can teach every shopper.
Whether or not you shop at Target, last month's security scare has lessons for all of us. It was a reminder that if you have a debit card, a thief can drain your bank account before you even know what's happening. But there are things you can do to make your cards safer.
After a 10 percent off sale and public apology, shoppers are starting to return to Target again following the massive data breach. Many shoppers are trying to shrug it off, saying after all, what can you do?
"I know that stuff is going on all the time. I can't freak out about it. I use my credit card all the time. What are you going to do?" said Shannon Daugherty, a fraud victim.
But others are now much more skittish using their credit or debit card.
Daugherty received a fraud alert e-mail from her bank telling her someone else was trying to use her credit card, just a day after she used it at Target
"I have an e-mail from them, someone tried to use my credit card at 1:51 p.m. They physically had it and they scanned it at a grocery store in Texas," explained Daugherty.
While the bank can't confirm it was the Target breach, she has suspicions.
"It does make you nervous, it makes you leery to use your card to make a big purchase," she said.
A report in Cleveland's The Plain Dealer says this security breach should be a lesson to everyone, even if you never shop at Target.
-Monitor your account often. Don't just wait for your monthly statement.
-Set up account alerts to your e-mail or cell phone, so you get a call if there's an unusual transaction.
-Use a debit card? Link it to a smaller checking account, not the account you use to pay the rent or mortgage.
-Set your debit card so a pin number is required for transactions. Security experts say a debit card with a pin number required is 15 times harder to steal than one that you can swipe in credit mode.
So tighten up that debit card, no matter where you shop, so you don't waste your money.
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