What You Must Know About the Kmart Data Breach

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Kmart has fallen victim to hackers — again.

Nearly three years after Kmart’s last data breach, the retailer’s parent company, Sears Holdings, issued a statement confirming that payment data systems at Kmart stores had been compromised.

According to the company, the malicious code used by hackers to infiltrate Kmart’s payment data systems was “undetectable” by its current anti-virus systems and application controls.

Sears Holdings says the breach resulted in “unauthorized credit card activity following certain customer purchases” at Kmart although no personal information — like names, addresses, Social Security numbers or email addresses — were swiped in the breach.

The company provided no details on which stores were affected or when, or how long the hacking took place, but it says the malicious code was “removed” and “contained.”

“We are confident that our customers can safely use their credit and debit cards in our retail stores,” says Sears Holdings.

You can read more about the breach on Kmart’s website.

Data breach crimes have skyrocketed in recent years, with businesses as prime targets in more than half (55 percent) of the hacks.

How to protect yourself from data breaches

Fortunately, you can take steps to protect yourself and your personal information. As we recommend in “Data Breaches Nearly Double: Here’s How to Stay Safe”:

Some are well-known, such as using multiple passwords and changing them often, as well as avoiding clicking on suspicious online links.

However, others are overlooked. For example, it’s important to secure confidential documents offline as well as online.

Services abound that are designed to protect you from identity theft. But are they worth the money?

Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson says there are three good reasons to think twice before forking over the cash. Read more in “Ask Stacy: Should I Pay for Identity Theft Protection and Credit Monitoring?

Looking for more tips on keeping your private information protected? Check out “5 Easy Steps to Keep Your Computer and Tech Safe in 2017.”

Have you fallen victim to a data breach? Share your experiences below or on Facebook.

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