I received a message today from Steve Steffke of the BJM Group, a leader in identity theft protection, this morning alerting me about the recent data breech at Epsilon and the threat it can cause to the average person. Tens of millions of email addresses, possibly including yours, is now in the hands of spammers. This could cause a great potential risk to you if you click on the spam emails you receive. Steve tells it better than me:
You may have received emails from some of the companies involved advising you that your information was part of the breach. (I’ve received notice from US Bank, Chase, and Best Buy so far.) Some (many?) of you may have been receiving an abundance of “email deliver failure notifications” (I have – about 25 a day) for emails you never sent.
If so, you’re part of the deal. DO NOT OPEN THEM! If you do/have – NEVER CLICK ON ANY OF THE LINKS contained in the email! Epsilon – the company who had the data breach – claims nothing was compromised for the tens of millions of email address they have lost, but your name and email address (we’ll see).
What it appears the thieves are doing right now is phishing for the uninformed.
What can you do to protect yourself?
- Make sure your computer’s antivirus and malware protection is up to date. If you don’t know if it is or need assistance, Mica Busch of Micasoft Computing is running a antivirus/malware special.
- Don’t click on any suspect emails, especially emails that appear to from you but are coming back as a ‘Delivery Failure.’ These are most certainly emails designed to attempt to harvest your personal information.
- Get yourself an identity protection audit. Steve Steffke specializes in identity theft protection and can advise you on ways in which you can protect yourself from identity theft.
Remember, mitigation is always more inexpensive than recovery and remediation. Take the steps now to protect yourself so you don’t become a victim later.