As companies combat data breaches, BBB encourages vigilance

Listen to KID NewsRadio’s full interview with Jeremy Johnson, Marketplace Manager at the Better Business Bureau Northwest and Pacific regions

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — In the past few years, millions of people have fallen victim to data breaches within some of the largest companies in the nation including Facebook and Yahoo!.

Now Marriott International Inc. can add their name to the list after a data breach exposed the information of 500 million customers, according to Bloomberg. Jeremy Johnson, Marketplace Manager with the Better Business Bureau in the Northwest and Pacific regions, told KID NewsRadio the most recent breach is a good reminder for people to brush up on what they can do if they feel like they’ve been a victim of current or past breaches.

“Anytime that you feel like you’ve been a victim of a breach, that you know someone has gone to a different company and taken your personal information, the first thing to do is just to stay calm and know that if your financial information is compromised, that you aren’t financially liable for that,” Jeremy Johnson told KID NewsRadio. “Not saying that it won’t take work and phone calls and emails to correct those things, but you aren’t financially liable for that.”

Typically, Johnson said, companies will let potentially impacted individuals know what information was compromised in the incident. Checking with the company directly through their website is a good first step in securing personal information following an attack.

Preventative measures can also help soften the blow of a data breach, especially as millions of Americans are set to travel for the holidays and perhaps, stay in hotels along the way.

“Definitely doing your homework, making sure that you know, you kind of know where you’re going, know what to expect,” Johnson said. “It’s really important to pay with a credit card anytime you can, just to kind of protect yourself that way.”