The Merkle

GameStop Alerts Customers About Potential Credit Card Information Theft

It has been a while since we last discussed a data breach affecting credit card information. Contrary to what some people may want to believe, these types of data breaches are not becoming less common, though. The latest company to report such a major incident is GameStop, the popular game store franchise in the United States. It has not been the best of years for the company, that much is evident.

Credit Card Breach Potentially Affects GameStop Customers

As a GameStop customer, the last thing you want to see is an email explaining how your credit card information may have been obtained by a criminal. Unfortunately for the company, they had to send out such an email to a lot of their customer base. It appears a data breach of the company’s servers had taken place, which could have lead to the criminals obtaining a lot of sensitive personal and financial information.

To be more specific, the company acknowledges the data breach. Among the information potentially exposed to assailants are customer names and address, as well as credit card information. More specifically, the information of anyone placing an online order at the GameStop website between August 2016 and early February 2017. That is quite a large timespan during which thousands of orders may have been placed.

What is rather troubling is how GameStop has no idea of which information may have been obtained from clients. It is evident the company sent out these emails as a precaution to warn users about potential suspicious charges to their credit cards. It is not the first time GameStop has dealt with potential credit card issues, as a post surfaced earlier this year indicating such a breach had taken place. At that time, nothing was officially confirmed.

Even now, GameStop has not acknowledged any credit card information has been stolen. It is truly the company identified a potential security incident related to transactions made on the company website. All customers making purchases during this time have been notified about this incident, although it is unclear if anyone has effectively been affected. We can only hope no credit card information was stolen, albeit that is anybody’s guess at this point in time.

All of this goes to show using a credit card through online platforms remains a major security risk. Companies simply cannot keep customer information safe from prying eyes, despite their best efforts. Having third parties store sensitive financial information needs to be avoided at all costs. Data breaches are far more common than most people realize, and credit card information is a valuable commodity among internet criminals. They often resell or abuse said information for financial gain.

The bigger question is how these problems can be alleviated in a convenient manner. It does not appear there is a cookie-cutter supply to allow people to sue a credit card and keep that information stored in a decentralized manner. It is evident something will need to change sooner rather than later, though, as things have been getting out of hand for quite some time now.

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