Over the weekend, Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor were hit with a data breach, with millions of credit cards exposed to hackers. Also recently, MyFitnessPal user accounts were hacked.
If you have recently made a purchase at Saks or Lord & Taylor, keep an eye on your statements and charges. If you see charges you, your family members or authorized signors didn’t make, notify the merchant first. Notifying the merchant can be the simplest route to resolving the issue. Most merchants will provide refunds for unauthorized charges or for merchandise you paid for but did not receive. If the merchant is unable to provide a refund, contact your financial institution. Each institution will have a different policy, but most will strongly encourage filing a police report.
How can you protect yourself from future data breaches?
- Change your passwords regularly. It is so important to change your passwords regularly and get creative. Hackers expect us to use similar, if not the same, passwords for other apps.
Not only should you change them regularly, but you should use strong passwords. For example: add numbers and symbols and use a word not directly associated with you and not found in a dictionary… so not your children’s or pet’s names. Mix the numbers and symbols into the middle. IF you choose to use a dictionary word, add numbers or symbols within the word to mix it up, i.e. Ch@rl3y2018! (Please do not use this as your password.)
- Always keep an eye on your account activity
- Consider an I.D. theft program. This service will combat the devastating impact of identity theft.
- Check ID theft coverage. Some I.D. theft products will alert you to potential fraudulent activity, but don’t cover the damage after the fact. Others will cover the cost of damages up to a certain point, but require you to do all the legwork.
As a member of HealthNet Federal Credit Union, you have the option to purchase Identity Theft Fully Managed Recovery. With fully managed recovery, you have access to a trained and certified Recovery Advocate who can work hand-in-hand to identify and resolve identity theft, even if it’s not related to your HealthNet accounts. This service is available at the low cost of $1.25 per month and covers all named account holders, spouse, children younger than 25 with the same permanent address, IRS-qualified dependents, and parents of named account holders with the same permanent address or living in an elder care facility.
To add Identity Theft Fully Managed Recovery to your HealthNet membership, fax a completed copy of our ID Theft form to 901-226-1122.
For more financial tips, visit your local credit union. HealthNet Federal Credit Union has proudly served Baptist Memorial Health Care employees and the health care community throughout the Mid-South for more than 60 years.
For information about the credit union, please call 901-226-1111 or visit www.healthnetfcu.org.