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How to Protect Yourself After a Data Breach

Clothing retailer Forever 21 has joined the long list of companies that have experienced a credit card data breach. The company announced Tuesday that an unauthorized party was able to access their payment card system from March until October of this year.

Forever 21 reported hackers were able to gain access to their system because the encryption on these devices that should have prevented such an incident was “not operating.”

In the past, when this type of breach took place, companies would offer free credit monitoring to those customers. When Target was hacked in 2013, the company gave affected shoppers one year of credit monitoring and theft protection in order to help shoppers but also to earn back consumer confidence. However, these services cost companies a lot of money, and since many consumers now seem unfazed by data breaches, some companies have stopped offering credit monitoring.

What can you do if you think your credit card information may have been stolen in a breach?

Forever 21 Security Breach: Customer Credit Card Data Stolen

Fashion retailer Forever 21 reported Tuesday that it suffered a security breach that allowed a hacker to gain unauthorized access to credit card information from a number of the company’s retail locations.

According to Forever 21, a third party group notified the company of the possibility that there was “unauthorized access to data from payment cards that were used at certain Forever 21 stores.” The company then launched its own investigation into the matter and discovered that some customer credit card data may have been exposed.

Forever 21 focused its investigation, for which it retained the help of a “leading security and forensics firm,” on credit card transactions that took place in its retail stores between March and October 2017—though the company noted its investigation is ongoing and it is “too early to provide further details.”

What the company could disclose was that at least some transactions during the timeframe it investigated were exposed. Forever 21 implemented encryption and tokenization solutions in 2015 that are designed to protect transaction data on its point of sales machines in its stores. However, the company admitted that not all of its stores had the security layers in operation during the time of the breach.

For the time being, Forever 21 is not disclosing what locations were affected or how many customers may have had their card compromised. Forever 21 operates more than 815 stores in 57 countries.

“We expect to provide an additional notice as we get further clarity on the specific stores and timeframes that may have been involved,” the company said. The company has not provided any additional resources for consumers to determine if they may have been affected.

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