Announced this morning by Fox News, anyone who shopped and used a credit or debit card at Target's 1,797 US stores, and 124 Canada stores, had their credit or debit card data stolen. This affects more than 40 million people and over 90 million cards. All Target store shoppers during this time period are encouraged to change their PIN numbers and card numbers. Now, Target is no small business, but consumers are also small business shoppers.
"The discount retailer confirmed on Thursday that it’s aware of unauthorized access to payment card data between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, at the start of the busiest shopping season of the year." -Fox Business
During this data heist, hackers were able to not only learn card numbers, but CVV security codes and PIN numbers. These masterminds have taken advantage of consumers' holiday shopping. Now, these Target shoppers credit has been compromised and these same shoppers are those who also shop at small business across the country. Here in Hawaii it is no different. Many kama'aina will find themselves shopping at small businesses they have grown to love and adore and built relationships with the owners.
Consumers can be comforted that a mass heist of data theft like this recent incident at Target would not happen in a small business. Many small businesses prefer the old fashioned cash route because using credit cards have a fee based on the value of the purchase,along it more difficult to have identity theft. But, in these technological times, small businesses tend to have online stores as well that do require credit card purchases.
Regardless of how many of these 40 million consumers who have been affected by data theft at Target this year, consumers should be aware of such events happening in this technologically advanced world. It's certainly not the first time retailers have been the victim of data theft and likely will not be the last. Consumers take the risk of having their data stolen every time we use it. Will this affect how we holiday shop in the coming years?