LivingSocial, a daily deals website, was hacked recently. Users of the site, which are said to number over 50,000,000, received an email from the company announcing the breach. The information that was stolen included names, email addresses, date of birth for some users, and encrypted passwords. Even though the company says the stolen passwords would be difficult to decode, they are requesting users to create new passwords. In addition, they recommend users change passwords regularly. Finally, they recommend users change passwords on other sites on which they use the same or similar password. Fortunately, the database that stores customer credit card information was not hacked.
So far, the company has not received any reports of customer accounts being accessed, but they are enhancing their monitoring of accounts for any unusual activity. Also, for additional protection, the company suggests that consumers send for their free annual credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com or 877-322-8228, be vigilant over the next 12 months, and review their credit card statements and credit reports.
Consumers who suspect their identities have been stolen should promptly report it to local law enforcement, their financial institutions, the FTC, and one of the three national consumer reporting agencies: Trans Union, Equifax, or Experian.
One final word of warning from the company to users is to be on the lookout for phishing attacks. The hackers know that users are subscribers of LivingSocial, and they know their names and passwords. They can then send emails that look like they are from LivingSocial to trick users into entering their new passwords. LivingSocial will never ask users directly for personal or account information. They will always direct users to their accounts and require them to login before making any changes.
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