Being Told By Target How to Keep Financial Information Safe is Ironic

January 15, 2014 at 1:23 PM

by Fred DeRuvo

targetMost of us know that Target was the victim of hackers who apparently stole a great deal of financial information connected to its customers. In the end, the customers were the victim of hackers. Target was merely the vehicle through which it occurred.

The company waited a number of days before announcing that this criminal event occurred, which meant that Target customers were not aware of the breach and neither were their banks.

To make matters worse, they are still learning just how much information was stolen from their data sources. In fact, just today, I received an additional letter “signed” by CEO Gregg W. Steinhafel. In part, it stated the following:

Late last week, as part of our ongoing investigation, we learned that additional information, including name, mailing address, phone number or email address, was also taken. I am writing to make you aware that your name, mailing address, phone number or email address may have been taken during the intrusion.

Amazing, isn’t it? The original event occurred back during the month of October, 2013, but just last week, they learned that more information than they originally thought may have been compromised. The lesson here is that if you continue to shop at Target, use a check or cash. So far, nothing fishy has turned up on our bank statements and our bank is very alert to the potential problem. Target doesn’t seem to be though.

Probably in what is the most ironic thing they could do, Steinhafel took the time out to teach all of us which steps to take to keep our financial data safe. Really?

In the same email as quoted above, Steinhafel states:

In addition, to guard against possible scams, always be cautious about sharing personal information, such as Social Security numbers, passwords, user IDs and financial account information. Here are some tips that will help protect you:

  • Never share information with anyone over the phone, email or text, even if they claim to be someone you know or do business with. Instead, ask for a call-back number.
  • Delete texts immediately from numbers or names you don’t recognize.
  • Be wary of emails that ask for money or send you to suspicious websites. Don’t click links within emails you don’t recognize.

With all due respect, Mr. Steinhafel forgot one that’s very important. He should have added, “Never pay for anything at Target with a debit or credit card because we cannot guarantee that the financial information will remain safe with us!

Aren’t these huge corporations spending a lot of money to safeguard their customer’s financial data? One would think so, yet here is a case where hackers managed to get passed all the safeguards Target may have set up. Looks like they need to go to plan B, which would be hiring one or two of these hackers and paying them the big bucks to create a system that stays well ahead of hackers.

Honestly though, if hackers can hack their way into government agencies (probably child’s play to them) and now huge corporations like Target (owned by Dayton-Hudson), who is safe from their electronic assaults?

To make matters worse, there has been talk of moving to a cashless society for years and we’ve seen that this move is more than just talk. With the creation of the Internet, the very real possibility of eliminating cash transactions may be right around the corner. In fact, it may be that eliminating actual debit/credit cards is not far behind that either.

What better reason would we have for going to a cashless, one-currency system where each person has a unique number tattooed on their right hand or on their forehead? We’ll be told that with this new system, identity theft and electronic financial theft will become a thing of the past. That’s not true because the hackers will simply try harder to break into systems that maintain our financial data. After all, it has to be kept somewhere and if the machine readers that read people’s unique number are able to read it, decode it, and deal with our specific account, then that also means that the systems can be hacked.

Don’t tell the low-info people though because they wouldn’t believe you anyway.

It’s coming to this and that’s for certain. In the meantime, you should consider using cash or checks for your transactions. Yeah, you’ll definitely look odd. People may wonder what you have to “hide,” but you won’t have to worry about having your information stolen by unscrupulous hackers from various parts of the world.

Something to think about. Hey Target! Do you still accept cash?

Entry filed under: Religious - Christian - Theology.

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