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Rip-Off Alert: Recent store breaches expose weaknesses

Reported by: Marie Mortera
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Updated: 1/14 5:38 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- It was recently discovered that more than 100 million Target customers had their personal information compromised when thieves hacked a database.

Neiman Marcus then announced it too had a breach. So what can the consumer do to protect himself from future hacks like that one?

The most basic lesson you can learn from the breach is this: when you are in the checkout lane -- don't share your personal information.

When a store clerk asks for your phone number, email address or ZIP code, do not share the info.

When you hand over your information, stores are putting it in a consumer database collection -- used by the stores for marketing, research and to send you emails.

But if the retailer is compromised -- it puts you at risk.

Here's why: If a criminal gets a hold of your credit card numbers, they can do more damage if they also have your personal information. There's a better chance you'll become the victim of identity theft.

Think of it this way: When you hand over your information to the stores, you trust them to keep it safe -- and that's problematic.

Security experts say some retailers are, in general, too lax with your personal information, and regulations are just too outdated at this point.
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