Sunday, January 19, 2014

One of 40 Million

If you read this blog, you know that I am a Target shopper. Since I used my Target credit card multiple times between Black Friday and December 18, 2013 I am lumped in with the other 40 million Target shoppers whose confidential credit and debit card data was stolen. Knowing my luck, I'm probably also in the mass of 70 million Target shoppers whose phone numbers and home addresses were also stolen. The only shoppers left unscathed were those who paid with cash. And who uses cash at Target except kids who don't have a credit card?

Angry, disappointed, confused, bitter resentment, betrayed: that pretty much describes the reaction of your average Target shopper. Even a few class action lawsuits are popping up. I fall into the disappointed and confused categories. Supposedly Target had a quality security system set up. Not!

How does Target manage to have such massive holes in their security networks and nonexistent safeguards that thieves could go undetected for weeks stealing all of this information? At least the Secret Service was keeping tabs on Target and let them know what was going on a few weeks before Christmas. Target has supposedly resolved what they can although all that data is still floating around out there in cyberspace.

Perhaps I am naive as I continue to shop at Target and swipe my Target card, figuring that they must have resolved these security issues and chances of a similar incident happening is slim. However I am tempted to just cut up that Target card and be done with it.

This whole scenario is more than eye-opening. We tend to take for granted swiping our plastic cards to pay for purchases instead of carrying around wads of cash or writing out a check—if you can even find a place that will cash your check. If this can happen to a massive chain like Target couldn't this happen to another major business or even to a major bank?

I've not yet started stashing cash under the floorboards, but this Target security breach does make you think about cyber-security and wonder what those criminals are going to do with financial data of 40 million trusting Target shoppers. You can only buy so much diamond jewelry, luxury cars, flats in London, and flights to far fetched destinations. Hopefully justice will ensue.

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