Sony recently announced a security breach for users of the PlayStation Network. Today, up to 100 million users may have been affected. Data concerning credit card information, addresses, email, birthdate and more may have been compromised. The magnitude of damages caused by this breach has yet to be determined, but it is realistic to expect extensive damages related to identity theft. So what does a company as large as Sony do in response to such an unfortunate event?
Sony announced that they took following steps:
1) Temporarily turned off PlayStation Network and Qriocity services;
2) Engaged an outside, recognized security firm to conduct a full and complete investigation into what happened; and
3) Quickly taken steps to enhance security and strengthen our network infrastructure by rebuilding our system to provide you with greater protection of your personal information.
Sony also provided some good general advice:
“For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information. Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking. When the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your PlayStation Network or Qriocity user name or password for other unrelated services or accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them as well.”
Sony also provided some good advice about protecting against idently theft:
“To protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss, we encourage you to remain vigilant, to review your account statements and to monitor your credit reports. We are providing the following information for those who wish to consider it:
– U.S. residents are entitled under U.S. law to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll-free (877) 322-8228.
– We have also provided names and contact information for the three major U.S. credit bureaus below. At no charge, U.S. residents can have these credit bureaus place a “fraud alert” on your file that alerts creditors to take additional steps to verify your identity prior to granting credit in your name. This service can make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name. Note, however, that because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you, it also may delay your ability to obtain credit while the agency verifies your identity. As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the others are notified to place fraud alerts on your file. Should you wish to place a fraud alert, or should you have any questions regarding your credit report, please contact any one of the agencies listed below: Experian: 888-397-3742; www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013.”
But the burden is on you to protect yourself.
While Sony provided some great advice, they seem to be pushing the burden of reducing the risks of identity theft to the consumer. Studies have shown that only about 10% of American consumers check their credit reports regularly. The reality is that consumers must take proactive steps to protect themselves. If you think your information may have been compromised in this breach, and you are uncertain about how to protect yourself, give us a call at www.ovationcredit.com. We’ll help explain the process to you.