Web.com is the latest in an ever-growing list of both small businesses and larger enterprises that have fallen victim to data breaches in just the last couple years. The Jacksonville, Florida-based company provides web services — including building new websites, redesigning old ones, implementing ecommerce software, registering domain names and server hosting — to small businesses without the resources or tech-savvy expertise to do so themselves. Naturally, that kind of service has become a huge hit with millions of entrepreneurs throughout the country looking to ramp up their online presence — so much so that Web.com, which also owns the similar web service companies Network Solutions and Register.com, numbers 3.3 million users among its customer base.
Unfortunately for both Web.com and its clientele, small business owners weren’t the only ones who took notice of this popular resource. Hackers struck the web service company earlier this month, breaching its cyber security protocols and potentially compromising the credit card numbers of 93,000 of its customers. Web.com notified its users of the data breach on Thursday, August 13, noting that it immediately severed the source of the unauthorized users and began coordinating with an IT security firm to investigate the cyber attack.
In addition to customer credit cards being breached, the company disclosed that cardholders’ names and street addresses may also be affected. It did note, though, that the patrons of businesses that use Web.com services would not have been impacted by the incident.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB), which accredits Web.com, released the following guidelines for Web.com customers worried about what this data breach means for them:
- Be wary of other scammers that may be trying to capitalize on the situation to commit even further fraud. Links or attachments sent to you via email or social media that claim to be from your bank or Web.com, and promise help for “fixing” your problem, could very well be phishing attempts. For updates on the matter, consult Web.com’s site directly. For questions about your credit file and credit card activity, call your bank. You don’t want to make a bad situation worse by inadvertently downloading malware from sources claiming to help, resulting in even further credit fraud and identity theft.
- If your bank tells you that your credit card was compromised, consider filing a fraud alert or a credit freeze on your account. Remember, though, that a credit freeze will prevent you from applying for new credit while it’s active too.
- Remember that you’re not liable for fraudulent charges made on a stolen credit card, and you can dispute those transactions and have them overturned by your credit card provider later.
While having your credit card compromised or your identity stolen is far from ideal, it’s not the end of the world. If you believe your credit was tampered with as a result of this or some other data breach, or you simply want to take more caution toward future risks, sign up with a credit monitoring services. While it can’t promise complete identity protection, it can scan your credit files for certain activity that may be signs of fraud, granting you the time and foresight to take even more proactive steps in warding off identity thieves.