Marriott Alumni Magazine

Summer 2015

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Page 27 of 51

By the Numbers by Madison Nield Mistaken Identity Locking your doors and windows isn’t enough: modern criminals are more likely to lurk in the shadowy corners of cyberspace than in your backyard. Make safeguarding your data as big of a priority as securing your home. It only takes a little work up front to protect your information from would-be identity thieves. 70 million The number of people potentially affected by Target’s data breach. Black Friday puts many people’s budgets in the red, but Target shoppers saw scarlet for a different reason during the 2013 holiday season. Hackers broke into Target’s data bank of customer information, exposing up to 70 million customer names and credit-card numbers, which led to a spike in identity-related fraud. If you shop somewhere that experiences a security breach, take immediate action: see if the store offers free credit-monitoring services, keep a close watch on your account activity, and change your PIN. 8 The number of characters that make up a strong password. The ideal password should include a combination of capital and lowercase letters as well as numbers and characters. Don’t use common passwords like birthdays, a pet’s name, or any other personal information. Security-software giant Symantec recommends changing important passwords every three to four months.

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