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Protecting Yourself After Target Data Breach

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Hackers have accessed credit card information for thousands in the Sioux Empire. It's a security breach that could affect more than 40 million people nationwide.

Anyone who shopped at a Target store from late November through mid December is at risk. Hackers may have your name, card number, the card's expiration date, and even the three digit security code.

You may have been warned of the dangers of online shopping and sharing too much information on the internet, but the in store Target security breach changes all that.

"I am totally safe," said Target shopper Kathy Nicolet.

The same can't be said for the 40 million accounts that may be involved in the Target data breach.

"They knew they were going to get a big bang for their buck," said Josh Pauli.

Pauli, a professor of cyber security at Dakota State University says whoever the hackers are, they were most likely planning the attack for a while.

"We parked our cars and walked in that store, and something happened on that card reader we're so used to using. We kind of felt much safer than when we were on our laptops online," said Pauli.

Customers might not be expecting an in store breach in a world where we're constantly warned of the dangers of online security hacks.

"Our information is out there everywhere. I don't think there's any way, I think you could be as careful as you can but it's going to be out there," said Dee Dickson, a Target shopper from Salem, SD.

Although Target released a statement saying the problem has been fixed, and people have been continuing to shop normally, some customers might still be at risk.

Pauli says anyone who shopped at Target from Nov. 27 through Dec. 15 with a credit or debit card should take action.

"What we should all do is we should immediately cancel the card that we used. It takes five or ten minutes to go call your bank or go online to cancel your card," said Pauli.

He says just because nothing has shown up on your bank statement yet, doesn't necessarily mean you're safe.

"If you don't cancel your card and your account stays active and live, it's just the equivalent of someone grabbing your card a month from now and swiping it," said Pauli.

Some shoppers still aren't worried.

"I always shop at Target because I use real money," said Nicolet.

"I'll probably just keep an eye on my information like I always do," said Dickson.

Cancelling your credit or debit cards this close to Christmas might sound like too much to handle. However, Pauli says it's a small price to pay to know your money is safe.

Target has said they are continuing to work with a third party forensics team to investigate the breach. The security breach only affects in-store purchases. Target online sales were not affected.

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