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Security breach points out dangers

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opinion Willmar,Minnesota 56201
West Central Tribune
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Security breach points out dangers
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

Recent weeks have not been good to Target, as a credit card security breach affected millions of its customers.

The retail giant says a network breach during the holiday season resulted in 40 million credit and debit card records and 70 million other records of customer information, such as phone numbers and addresses.


It has been more than three weeks since the breach was first announced, but new details have continued to emerge.

Consumers are especially concerned and scared about their credit and debit card information that has been maintained by Target.

Federal officials are asking questions as well and investigations are just beginning.

Target is to be commended for its quickness in informing customers and the public. The company is also offering free credit monitoring for a year to customers and is promising to make sure no customer is harmed.

The bigger lesson is that all American retailers and companies have not taken cyber security as seriously as they should have. If Target had invested more in cyber security, this data breach may not have happened.

Businesses that utilize and house critical customer data have a responsibility to protect it to the best of their ability.

Both houses of Congress are looking to investigate the data breach at Target to learn how consumers are impacted, what consumers can do to protect themselves and what laws need to be strengthened.

For example, there is no federal law specifying when and how businesses must report data breaches to customers and law enforcement officials.

Hopefully the Target breach will result in better businesses practices and appropriate law improvements to protect American consumers and businesses.