Protecting yourself from store data breaches

CINCINNATI (FOX19/CNN) - The data breach at Target, which could have impacted 110 million customers, shows us why the information we give retailers can come back to haunt us.

The most basic lesson you can learn from the Target and Neiman Marcus data breaches is that you shouldn't share your personal information with a store's cashier. When a store clerk asks for your phone number, e-mail address, or ZIP code, simply say no.

That's because when you hand over your information, the stores are putting it into a consumer database collection, used for the chain's marketing, research, and to send you e-mails.

But if the retailer's security is compromised, it puts you at risk.

Say a criminal gets hold of your credit card numbers. If he also has some of your personal information, he can do more damage, leading to a better chance of you becoming a victim of identity theft. Security experts say some retailers are too lax with your personal information. They also complain that regulations are too outdated.

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