More Data Breaches Mean More Chances Your Info is Out There

In this day and age, it’s probably safe to assume that your personal data is actually anything but safe. This week brought news of two more major data breaches: one involving the popular app Under Armor-owned app My Fitness Pal and the other affecting Panera customers who used the company’s online ordering service. Lucky for me, I fall into the center of the Venn diagram having utilized both of these services. Yay.

If you’re in the same boat as me, there are now a couple of things you should probably do. The first is to pay extra close attention to banking and credit card activity as well as your Panera account specifically. You may recall that, a few months ago, I watched as hackers managed to access my Starbucks account, add money to the card via my debit card, and proceed to transfer the funds to another account. It seems that, despite Panera advising that no payment card data was obtained in the leak, a similar scenario could happen to users  — especially since loyalty card numbers apparently were exposed.

Next up, now is also a great time to change your passwords. Going back to my Starbucks incident, it actually wasn’t a Starbucks breach that exposed me to fraud but presumably a separate attack where bad actors were able to obtain my once-favorite password. Because of this, in addition to changing the passwords you currently use for Panera or My Fitness Pal, you’ll also want to update your login for any other sites where you happened to use that same password. On that note, while it is convenient, these hacks demonstrate why maintaining the same password for multiple services is a bad idea. If you really have trouble remembering all of your passwords, you may also consider trying services like LastPass to help you create secure passwords while still gaining easy access to what you need.

To be fair to Under Armor and Panera, these breaches pail in comparison to the Equifax hack. At the same time, with various leaks exposing different data, it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine that cybercriminals could easily piece together a full profile and engage in various forms of identity theft. Thus, if nothing else, this week is just another reminder to be vigilant, monitor your credit, and take appropriate action if you spot any fraudulent activity.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com.

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