Target is a Titanic-size disaster
The data breach upending the company is a really big deal. Here's why.
By Jamie Dlugosch
Like many folks, I thought the data breach story at Target (TGT) was a yawner.
I had more important things to focus on, like lining up my Top 10 One-Year Sizzling Stocks for 2014.
Then I realized I should probably care a bit more. The story is not too different from the Titanic striking that iceberg.
This is a really big deal -- far bigger than the market realizes at the moment.
Last Friday, Target tried to make amends for the data breach by offering shoppers discounts. While on the surface that good-faith gesture was admirable, it will not work to reverse the damage that has been done -- and even worse the damage that is coming.
Target has now acknowledged that PINs for customers' debt cards were also part of the data stolen, according to reports Friday.
I had an enlightening experience at my local bank Saturday. A chance conversation with the teller revealed information that should have all Target investors shaking in their shoes.
A telling moment: Safeguard your assets
The bank teller asked me if I had multiple accounts at the bank. At first I simply thought he was trying to pad his numbers by opening as many accounts as possible. I was wrong.
He had other motives. Specifically, he was referring to the Target credit and debit card debacle and what his bank was recommending to its customers in response.
What in the world?
The bank's message boiled down to this: If you shop at Target, you might want to use a card with only a minimal balance. Keep the rest of your assets safe in other accounts.
Obviously this teller was instructed to share this information with me from on high. The problem for Target that is telling? That a bank would go out of its way to do this in the first place.
Bigger problems dead ahead for Target
Behaviors will change because of this lapse. The discounts are bad enough. Changed behavior is so much worse. Add in the potential liability and you see the problem. Earnings are going to get whacked and whacked in a big way.
Look for the first pre-announcement after the holidays. At that point it will be sober-up time for Target management, and the look at the damage will be not so fun.
Get out of Target stock now while you still can. There are far better opportunities elsewhere.
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Never ever use a debit card especially online! Use only one credit card for gasoline purchases. Use a separate credit card for all internet purchases.
So now we are to listen to "advice" from bank tellers about how we should manage our credit and debit cards. Right. How about using debit cards in the future only for ATM cash withdrawals, which is what they were originally intended for in the first place? And by the way, I didn't see any advice in this article about getting new cards issued with new account numbers if your account could have been compromised. Shouldn't this "knowledgeable" writer have included that? My credit card company was happy to issue me a new credit card with a new account no. at no charge as soon as I notified them that I had shopped in Target during the problem period. Problem over for me. They even sent it via Fedex, which I didn't even request.
Like previously stated in a comment (credit cards and debit cards) LIKE EUROPE, could be upgraded and use a chip instead of a magnetic strip, costing the banks and credit card companies,
Banks should use billions from the bailout to implement new security cards, but when they do get around to making this change, they will increase their fees to cover this cost. It's good enough for Europe, why not the US?
Also, this could also be a ploy from this teller,/along with a ploy by the bank to sell more accounts, rather than a real concern for the customer? More bank accounts = more potential bank feesAuthor/Jamie Dlugosch. Why not do a little research and report on the equipment used in this security breach and if other retailers use the same?
GET A JOB!
DIE FRAUD STREET, DIE!
Might be good to freeze your credit....check out Clark Howard's web site.
Please listen, folks: and when you do I'll be waiting to scoop up the shares of an excellent company that's leaving Walmart in the dust at rock-bottom prices. The author of this article will probably do so as well - and then tell you afterward Target is underpriced.
Think I've heard of some people losing Thousands out of Bitcoin accounts....
One guy even lost in the Millions because of a "hard drive problem"...?
So I guess most transactions are about secure as the person that is responsible for them.
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Do it once a year. This allows the best-performing asset classes to take off and run.
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