Kmart Free Credit Monitoring After Credit Card Breach
As someone who uses credit cards all of the time, it has become a little concerning to hear of one giant retailer after the other report that they have been compromised. The most recent company to admit of a breach is Kmart.
On October 10, 2014 Alasdair James President of Kmart wrote a letter explaining the breach. In early September, a piece of malware was somehow installed on their systems, resulting in credit and debit card numbers being compromised. Mr. James wrote:
“Based on the forensic investigation to date, no personal information, no debit card PIN numbers, no email addresses and no social security numbers were obtained by those criminally responsible. There is also no evidence that kmart.com customers were impacted. This data breach has been contained and the malware has been removed.”
So according to Kmart, anyone who shopped in one of their stores from the beginning of September through October 9, 2014 may have been compromised. Because of this, they are offering one year of free credit monitoring through ProtectMyID.
To register for Kmart Free Credit Monitoring:
To register, simply click this link and certify that you shopped at Kmart from September 1, 2014 through October 9, 2014.
ProtectMyID is run by Experian and is the same monitoring company that Target used after their data breach.
Debit Cards Are Dangerous
This breach is just another reminder that using debit cards are dangerous. Credit cards are not linked to actual funds and if fraud occurs you are not responsible. If someone uses your debit card fraudulently, you still are not responsible, however it can take time for your funds to be restored.
I recommend using credit cards for your purchases and paying them off at the end of the month. I personally only use my debit card to obtain cash at an ATM. This way if a store I shop at is compromised, I can just monitor my credit cards and don’t have to worry about my bank account being wiped out.
It is also important to note that these monitoring services look at your credit reports for information such as applications and other changes. Since no names or social security numbers were stolen, it is not likely that they would help considering they do not monitor current cards for fraudulent charges.
These data breaches are becoming all too common in my opinion. While I am sure there is no end in sight, at least those who are at risk will have the ability to monitor their credit, although I am not sure how effective it will be.
If you did shop at Kmart, then I suggest that you consider signing up for the Kmart free credit monitoring offer. Between Target, Home Depot, Kmart & others, I am sure most of you already have some sort of free credit monitoring at this point.