Home Depot has confirmed that a data breach occurred on their payment data systems in their stores in the United States and Canada and dates back to April 2014. 

Home Depot is offering free services including credit monitoring, identity monitoring, and an identity theft insurance policy for anyone who shopped at a store since April 2014. Currently, they believe online shopping was not impacted. For more information about these services, please visit https://homedepot.allclearid.com/.
 
According to Krebs on Security, a massive amount of credit and debit card numbers went on sale on the black market September 2nd. Some news outlets estimate that as many as 60 million debit and credit card accounts were compromised. In addition, reports have mentioned that this is a variant of the same malware that caused the Target breach, affecting 40 million card numbers, in 4Q 2013.
 
We will be working with our processor FIS as well as VISA and MasterCard in communicating additional information as it becomes available. The Credit Union recommends that members closely monitor their accounts for suspicious transactions. To date, we have not received any reports from Visa or MasterCard with any compromised account numbers.

Members can click on the following links for more information:

Home Depot Official Press Release
Home Depot Official FAQ’s
CNBC Article on Home Depot Breach
CNN Article on Home Depot Breach
Krebs on Security Article on Home Depot Breach


You can greatly diminish your own risk to identity theft. Here are three simple steps to get you started:

1) Switch to strong passwords. It's worth your time to update all your passwords to contain upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. Dictionary words are early hacked (as Britney Spears and President Obama found out when their twitter accounts were compromised). Avoid recognizable identifiers such as the last four digits of your SSN, your birth date, house number, and so on for passwords and PINs. 

One Idea is to memorize a sentence, using the first letter of each word - including numbers and symbols - as your password (e.g., "My #1 dog is a Lap/Poodle mix" becomes M#1diaL/Pm).

2) Refuse requests for personal information. Decline phone and e-mail requests for personal information or your credit card number. They may be scams. For example, the credit union will not call or e-mail you asking you for your SSN or birthday - we already have this information. Instead, contact us directly.

3) Order your free credit reports. Request a copy of your credit report and review for unauthorized accounts. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) of 2003 requires each major credit bureau to provide one free credit report annually to consumers who request a copy (call 877-322-8228,. or visit annualcreditreport.com).