Several companies have had sizable data breaches in the past year: Orbitz may have exposed information tied to about 880,000 credit cards, OnePlus temporarily shut down credit card payments for its online store after it said up to 40,000 customers were affected by a breach in January, and malware stole Chipotle customer credit card information from restaurants in every state the chain operates in.
Panera was originally alerted to this breach by security researcher Dylan Houlihan eight months ago but Panera initially dismissed it as a likely scam.
The breach shows customer data available in plain text and appears to include records for any customer who signed up to order food via Panera’s website, panerabread.com. Revealed information includes individuals’ names, emails, physical addresses, birthdays, and the last four digits of the credit card used.
- Scammers may purchase your information on the dark web and later use it against you in the form of a fake email, call or text. Be cautious who you deal with about financial matters and don’t forget to hang up on strangers.
- Doubt? If you doubt the intentions of communication from an unknown party the best idea is to just directly go to the source to gain further information. This means that you will call your bank or credit card company and verify that they were truly attempting to reach you.
- Don’t underestimate the value of looking at your checking account on a daily basis. You want to monitor for unusual transactions at least once a day.
- Use technology as your personal assistant. If your bank, credit union or credit card issuer offers e alerts, text alerts or similar communication channels that alert you to unusual behavior on your financial accounts sign up immediately.