Smart SpendingSmart Spending

PlayStation Network hacked: What you should do

Sony's PlayStation Network and Qriocity services have been hacked, compromising the personal information -- and possibly credit card numbers -- of 77 million people.

By Stacy Johnson Apr 27, 2011 9:58AM

This post comes from Dan Schointuch at partner site Money Talks News.


Sony's announcement that its 77 million-strong PlayStation Network was hacked has left many consumers wondering what to do. According to a statement by Sony, subscribers to both its PlayStation Network and Qriocity music streaming service have had their name, physical address, email address, birthday, login name, and password stolen by an unknown hacker.


Sony also said it was possible that members' profile data, purchase history, security questions and answers, and credit card numbers and expiration dates may have also been taken in the breach.


What should you do? Post continues after video.
Credit card

If you have an account with either the PlayStation Network or Qriocity service and have provided them with your credit card information, get a new card. While Sony says there is no evidence that credit card numbers were stolen, they can't rule it out as a possibility.

While you're generally not liable for fraudulent charges made on your credit card account, why put yourself through the hassle of refuting bogus charges?


First, inform your credit card company -- or bank if you have a debit card -- that your information may have been compromised. They'll be more than happy to send you a new card. Keep in mind, however, that if your credit card is now being used to make automatic payments, you'll have to change your card information with those services.


Fraud alert

Next, file a fraud alert with one of the three major credit bureaus -- Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax. (The bureau you contact will alert the other two.) A fraud alert makes it harder for anyone (including you) to get credit in your name, so it's a great way to deal with ID theft either as a preventative measure or after it may have occurred.


With a fraud alert on file, lenders will take additional steps to verify that the person opening an account in your name is actually you. Typically this means answering a few questions about where you've lived in the past, or what model car you owned in 1998 --things that you'll easily know but an identity thief would have a hard time finding out.


The fraud alert is free, and lasts for 90 days. You can renew it at the end of those 90 days by filing another alert, so mark your calendars to keep from forgetting.


Note: Many services promise to protect your credit for a fee. Many of those services do nothing more than file a fraud alert on your behalf and automatically renew it after the 90-day period -- something you can do yourself in seconds. Check out our story "10 tips for free identity theft prevention."



Next step: Change your password. If you use a unique password for the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services, then you'll only have to change it on those two sites. But, if you're like many people and reuse the same password in multiple places, you'll want to change it everywhere. This can be annoying, but is important to protect your privacy and security online.


Finally, the FTC asks that you consider filing an official complaint. Complaints are included in a national database and can assist the FTC and law enforcement agencies in finding those responsible for stealing your information. Complaints can be easily filed online in about five minutes by visiting their complaint page


For additional help, the FTC has set up an identity theft site that can provide you with more information, as well as links to your state's specific identity protection laws if available, at this page of the FTC website.


More information on the breach can be found on Sony's Consumer Alert page, or by calling them directly at (800) 345-7669.

Direct links to file a fraud alert:

More on Money Talks News and MSN Money:

Apr 27, 2011 11:53AM

@anonymous678   The PS3 is a horrible game system because someone hacked Sony's servers?  How does that logic work?  Oh wait, I know!!! It doesn't because the PSN servers and PS3 are 2 entirely different things!  If it was a Micro$oft server that was compramised would you say that the XBox is a horrible gaming system?  Oh wait yet again, Micro$oft systems, in the form of personal computers, have been hacked and are being hacked every day so all computers and the Xbox too, are all horrible gaming systems!!! *sarcasm*


I think I'm going to use this type of logic for the rest of the month and see where it gets me. 

Apr 27, 2011 12:51PM

PS3 is not a horrible gaming system...........PSN is just a horrible online service, I've used both Xbox Live and PSN since both started,  I prefer Live.  Standard PSN service may be free but guess what happens to a free service when there's no income to prevent hacking and other types of intrusions.  And do I have to mention it took PSN a full year to implement party chat, the only way to talk to  your friends was to be playing the same game.  Thankfully my old credit card associated with my PSN ID is no longer valid.

Apr 27, 2011 11:14AM
this is the reason why the playstation 3 is a horrible gaming system...
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.