Taken aback by a hack attack?

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Busy business executives and the attorneys who represent them need to unwind now and then.  If PlayStation is your diversion-of-choice — or the choice of family members — you’ve probably heard the news that Sony’s PlayStation Network and Qriocity service were hacked and that user data may have been compromised.  It’s not clear right now what info was stolen, but the services held user IDs and passwords, email addresses, birth dates, street addresses, credit card numbers, expiration dates, and payment histories.  Are you taking steps to reduce the risk of ID theft as a result of the hack?  Here are some suggestions from OnGuardOnline.gov:

►  If you used your PlayStation login ID or password for other accounts, change them.  It doesn’t take a cybercrime mastermind to know that people sometimes use the same password for different accounts.  Check that you’re not using identical logins and passwords for multiple accounts where you access personal or financial information.  And because hackers could have your security questions and answers from Sony, use different questions for other accounts.

►  When you open your email, watch for phishing scams. Having your stolen information could make it easier for crooks to send messages that appear to be from PlayStation, Sony, or even another gamer.  If you get an email asking you to provide your credit card number or Social Security number — don’t.

►  Monitor your billing statements.  Can’t remember which credit card you used for your PlayStation account?  There’s an easy way to find out.  Purchases you made would have automatically generated an email from DoNotReply[at]ac.playstation.net that may still be in your mailbox.  That email will include the last four digits of the credit card associated with your account.  When you get your bills, check for charges you don’t recognize.  If something looks amiss, get in touch with your bank or credit card company’s fraud department right away.

►  Check your credit report.  Under the law, the three major nationwide credit reporting companies have to give you a free copy of your report every 12 months if you ask for it.  Visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228 to get yours. If you see accounts or addresses you don’t recognize or information that looks inaccurate, contact the credit reporting company and the information provider. To find out how to correct errors on your credit report, visit the FTC’s ID theft site.

►  If you have a young gamer in the house, use this as an opportunity to discuss staying safer online.  Talk to your kids’ schools, clubs, or sports leagues about including a link to OnGuardOnline.gov in upcoming newsletters.

And while the story remains in the headlines, what better time to remind your clients of the importance of periodic security check-ups?

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