As news about the eBay hack hits the media, you may be wondering what you can do to protect yourself from fraud. If your small business has a presence on eBay – or even if you’re just an occasional buyer or seller – consider taking these six steps.
- Change your eBay password. When you create your new password, mix letters, numbers, and special characters. Try to be unpredictable – don’t use your name, birthdate, or common words. And use at least 10 characters.
- If you used your eBay ID or password for other accounts, change them, too. Hackers sometimes try stolen IDs and passwords on different sites to gain control of other accounts. That’s why it’s a bad idea to recycle the same password.
- Don’t confirm or provide personal information in response to an email or text, and don’t click on links in unexpected messages. Legitimate companies won’t ask for bank or credit card information, Social Security numbers, passwords, or other sensitive information through unsecured channels. According to news reports, the eBay breach included customers' names, passwords, email and postal addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth. Crooks may use this stolen information to send email or texts that appear to be from people or sites you trust.
- Review your credit card and bank statements often. Many eBayers sell as a part-time sideline and manage their finances out of one personal account. If you see charges you don’t recognize, contact the fraud department at your bank or credit card provider right away.
- Check your credit reports – for free – every few months. Monitoring your credit report is a good way to find out if someone has opened credit in your name. You’re entitled to a free report every 12 months from each of the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. To get your report, visit AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.
- Share these tips with others. Make sure the person who manages your eBay presence is aware of this advice, and consider letting your customers know, too. It could be as simple as a signature line in emails offering a practical security tip.