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Marriott privacy breach: What to do if you are affected?



Marriott, which includes Starwood hotels such as the St. Regis and the Westin, announced Friday that the reservation system for Starwood guests had been hacked in a 2014 violation.

Marriott says for 327 million people The exposed information includes names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, passport numbers, and dates of birth. For millions of others, credit card numbers and card expiration dates may be at risk. This type of information could be used to steal your identity and open bank accounts, credit cards or loans on your behalf.

This is the second largest corporate data breach in history, behind one involving Yahoo, which reported 3 billion accounts last year. Some of its brands were compromised.

Marriott said it would send emails to affected users and set up a website with information about the violation.

In the meantime, you can do the following to protect yourself:

1
. Change your password

Marriott says guests should change their password regularly and select a password not easy to guess. For example, instead of a generic phrase, choose a combination of four or more unrelated words with numbers, letters, and a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters.

You should also have different passwords for all the services you use.

"Changing your password will only add another roadblock to a potential hacker entering your system," said Aaron Brantly, Virginia Tech cybersecurity expert.

2. Monitor your accounts for suspicious activity

Marriott encourages customers to monitor your Starwood Preferred Guest account for suspicious activity. Members should also review their bank, retirement and brokerage accounts and credit card statements to check for unauthorized transactions.

3. Open a separate credit card for online transactions.

Yair Levy, an expert in cyber security and information systems at Nova Southeastern University, recommends having a credit card for online shopping. This makes it easier to track transactions and detect fraudulent activity.

If this credit card is compromised, you do not need to make automatic payments for, for example: B. Update bills.

4. Be vigilant

Experts warn Internet users not to be cautious when it comes to phishing attempts by malicious actors seeking to steal your data, including fake emails, fake links, and fraudulent websites to let. On its hack information page, Marriott reminded members that the company does not ask you to enter your password by phone or e-mail.


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