Neiman Marcus breachIt seems Target was not the only retail store affected by a security breach during the holiday season, as Neiman Marcus revealed that its customer also fell victim to a breach that exposed customers’ credit and debit card information, as reported by USA Today.

What are the details of the breach?

The Neiman Marcus breach was discovered in mid-December by the store’s credit card processor and confirmed in the beginning of January by third-party security company. Neiman Marcus stated it did not know the cause, size or duration of the breach, however it did state that only in-store shoppers were impacted by the breach, similar to the Target breach.  The company also stated that it’s working with the U.S. Secret Service as well as a couple of other security and forensics firms to sort out all of the details concerning the breach.

How can I protect my identity?

Considering that not a lot of information is known about the Neiman Marcus breach, there are only a couple of things that you can do to protect your identity. And since only people who shopped at brick-and-mortar stores were affected, online shoppers don’t necessarily need to take these steps.

1. Monitor your bank statements: Read through your statement detail-by-detail and make sure all of the transactions were completed by you. If there are any transactions that you don’t recognize, then call your bank immediately, report them as fraudulent and request a new debit or credit card. You can always opt to call your bank and request a new card before you spot any fraudulent transactions, yet be aware that some banks’ policy is to only reissue a card when there is confirmed fraud.

2. Change you PIN: Even though Neiman Marcus didn’t specify if the breach revealed PINs, this is still a good idea for you to change your PIN in order to protect your identity and bank accounts. Make sure that you new PIN is not a variation of your current PIN, and try to also avoid designs on the keyboard, such as the four corners — 1-3-9-7 or any other variation — because these PINs are easy to guess. Unlike debit card policies, banks usually do not need confirmed fraud in order for you to change your PIN.

An additional step that you can take to protect yourself is to sign up for an identity theft protection service. These services not only monitor all three of your credit reports, but also actively monitor the trading and selling of your personal information on the Internet black market. And, the best part is that most of the identity theft protection services offer some sort of free trial so you can test out the service prior to making any financial commitment. Check out our identity theft protection reviews to see which service will best fit your needs.