Target data breach impacts millions of customers

BY MELISSA DELLACATO
Acting Editor in Chief

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 10.44.07 AM

PHOTO BY RACHEL NIDER
Approximately 110 million Target customers were impacted by the credit and debit card breach.

Target Corp. was hacked during the holiday season between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, according to CNBC. Approximately 40 million Target customers were impacted by the credit and debit card breach, in addition to another 70 million customers whose personal information could have been stolen.

“It’s too easy for people to get information nowadays,” said Andy Danchuk, an 18-year-old public administration major at County College of Morris. “Technology is too complicated; it needs to be simpler.”

Danchuk added that he believes, when it comes to technology, security just isn’t good enough.

According to Target’s website, customer information –– such as names, credit and debit card information, mailing addresses, email addresses and/ or phone numbers –– was stolen.

Jennifer Holst, an 18-year- old culinary arts & science major, said her mom was directly im- pacted by the incident.

“[My mom] shopped during the holidays to get gifts for me and my sister,” Holst said. “The bank called saying they were closing the account to be [safe] because she shopped at Target.”

Holst described the breach as “horrible” and said she’ll be more cautious when deciding whether or not she should shop there.

Nonetheless, Holst said she doesn’t think there was a way the breach could have been prevented and that Target is handling the unfortunate circumstances well.

Danchuk said he blames issues like this on credit cards; without them, these kinds of in- cidents wouldn’t happen easily, if at all.

Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel apologized for the breach in an email to customers Jan. 13.

“I am truly sorry this incident occurred and sincerely regret any inconvenience it may cause you,” he wrote.

Danchuk cited how Steinhafel released information regarding the breach in bits and pieces over a month’s time, adding that this was the wrong way to approach the issue.

“He should’ve been more straightforward [with customers],” Danchuk said. “[He should’ve] found a way to solve it as quick as possible.”

In an effort to help customers and earn trust back, Target is offering free credit monitoring to its customers for a year. According to Target’s website, this offer includes a credit report, daily credit monitoring and identity theft resolution. Activation codes for this offer are available through April 30.

“Credit monitoring is the least they can do for all the trouble they caused,” Holst said.

“Clearly we are accountable and we are responsible, but we are going to come out at the end of this a better company and we are going to make significant changes,” Steinhafel said in an interview with CNBC. “We have to do everything possible to make it right by every guest and earn that trust back.”

Danchuk said he believes that this incident will change how people view Target’s management in the future.

According to Target’s website, the issue was discovered Dec. 15. They have partnered with a forensics firm to continue investigating the breach.

In the meantime, Target advises its guests to never share information with anyone over the phone, email or text; delete texts immediately from unfamiliar numbers; and never click links from unrecognizable emails.

Target officials have set up a section of their website dedicated to resources and information regarding the issue. Customers can also call the following phone number if they have suspicions about the activity on their account: 1-866-852-8680.

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