Two breaches for Sony online network

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – If you're one of the Sony network's millions of subscribers, it's time now to start being cautious about identity theft. 12 on Your Side has steps to help you guard yourself, from potential financial ruin after these security breaches.

Whoever hacked into the Playstation and Sony networks got names, addresses, birth dates, passwords, billing history, as well as security answers. Even more scary, people's credit card information may also have been stolen.

We don't know yet, the culprits' identity or their intentions. We do know thieves typically steal to get stuff. And, as we've learned from internet security experts, crooks commit all types of crimes assuming your identity and using your personal information.

Both are huge information breaches and the best advice coming from the experts, is to change your password immediately, especially if you're using the same one on other accounts. Check your credit reports with all three credit reporting agencies. Here's information on all three:

Equifax: 800-685-1111
Trans Union: 800-888-4213
Experian: 1-888-397-3742

Place a fraud alert on your accounts and check them for strange activity. The breaches impact every account associated with the game. So, talk with your kids so they understand fake emails.

Be on the alert, you will likely get a flood of phishing emails. Hackers got your email address, along with passwords, security answers, your billing history and possibly credit card information. Many of those scam e-mails will be made to look like they're from Sony so, don't be fooled.

Here's a tip for creating a strong password that's easy to remember. Make a statement about someone close to you and use initials and the year you met. For example, I met Sunni Boi in 2008. Your password would be: imsbi#08.

A strong password should have upper and lower case letters and at least one number and symbol. You can find out more information from the Sony online entertainment website.

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