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Number Of People Affected By Target Security Breach Increases

Far more people were impacted by the holiday hack at Target than previously reported.
Far more people were impacted by the holiday hack at Target than previously reported. 

If you shopped at Target this holiday season, your name, address, phone number and e-mail may be in the hands of criminals. Thieves may have stolen the personal information of as many as 110 million shoppers. Experts say watch your statements and credit reports. They even go so far as to say contact your bank and ask for a change now. 

"Talk to your bank, see if they're willing to just change the number on your card; or it would be your checking account with a debit card. See how difficult or easy that is to do because it certainly would protect you if you could just make that one change," Lynette Baker of Consumer Credit Counseling said.

Target says hackers breached their payment system and gained access to millions of shoppers' personal information- information that would allow them to steal identities. The big question is how does something like this happen? Experts say the magnetic strip on your credit or debit card can give criminals access to your information is it is not protected. Every swipe could put you at risk no matter where you shop.

"The payment card industry has basically over 200 requirements that must be met when you store credit cards, and if anyone of those requirements is not potentially met then that data may be vulnerable," RIT Information Security Officer Jon Maurer said.

There is not much you can do to keep your information protected at the register.

"For large retailers they are supposed to be audited on a regular basis, and therefore they're supposed to be in compliance with these payment card industry data security standards. So for the consumer that's just sitting there at the terminal swiping their ability to discern whether the company is in compliance with all of those 200-plus requirements is very difficult," Maurer said.

Target is still investigating the breach, but it seems like it is growing bigger every day- putting consumers at risk. 

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