Yesterday, eBay revealed that a data breach in February 2014 made eBay users’ data available to hackers. While no encrypted data was hacked—which means that any financial information eBay had about you is safe—your name, birthday, address, and phone number were potentially exposed.
Data breaches are a regular part of the news cycle these days, from the Target breach this winter, to the Bit.ly breach just a week ago. If we’re going to continue to give our data to third parties, we need to also know how to protect ourselves from identity theft attempts.
eBay says that in this case, the important thing to do is to change your eBay password. While eBay has an estimated 145 million users, it did not disclose how many were affected by the breach. It’s best to be cautious and change your password now, even if you haven’t noticed any strange activity on your account.
BBB recommends eBay customers not only change their eBay passwords, but to make sure they don’t use the same password for other sites as well. Hackers rely on being able to reuse stolen passwords in order to break into bank accounts and other assets.
Some other online privacy tips include:
- Never use the same password on multiple sites.
- Only give out personal information on secure websites. Secure websites’ URLs begin with https://
- Review privacy policies to ensure that you know how your information will be used and what you can do if you want it removed from the company’s database.
- Beware of unsolicited emails asking for your information, even if they seem to be from a service you’re interested in. Trustworthy companies will only send you promotional materials if you’ve agreed to receive them.
- Check with BBB before doing business online with any company that you’re skeptical of—we’ll be happy to provide you with the information we have about them.