Home Depot Data Breach May Top $50 Million

“Home Depot spokeswoman Paula Drake said ‘protecting our customers’ information is something we take extremely seriously.’” 

At the time of this blog, it is not clear how many Home Depot stores or shoppers were involved, but this breach could be one of the largest data breaches to ever hit a retailer.  It is also estimated that the cyber thieves made an estimated $50 million from this breach by selling credit card numbers and personal information.

Home Depot and many other retailers including Target, P. F. Chang’s, Neiman Marcus, and other companies, have all experienced similar data breaches in recent months.  To combat this problem, many companies are beginning to use a new “chip and pin” technology.  Already in use in Europe, the new technology contains a chip in your credit or debit card with account information, requires the user to use pin identification, and is nearly impossible to counterfeit.  Because the new technology has dual verification, card transactions are much, much safer for both retailer and customer.

For more information go to http://www.cbsnews.com/news/home-depot-data-breach-may-top-50-million/

Teaching Suggestions

You may want to use the information in this blog post and the original article to

  • Stress the importance of students monitoring credit and debit card activity on a regular basis.
  • Obtain a credit or debit card with the new chip and pin technology.
  • Encourage students to determine their liability if their credit or debit card information is stolen.

Discussion Questions

  1. Assume you are trying to decide between two different credit cards. One card does not have chip and pin technology and does not charge an annual fee.  The other card does have chip and pin technology, but charges an $85 annual fee?  Which card would you choose?  Explain your answer.
  2. Besides choosing a credit or debit card with chip and pin technology, what other steps can you take to make sure you are not a victim of identity theft?

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