July 6, 2012 at 4:00 PM ET
Best Buy says some customers' email accounts may have been hacked. The retail giant is notifying those customers via email, telling them their current passwords have been disabled and asking them to reset their passwords.
The email, which went out Friday, says in part:
We are currently investigating increased attempts by hackers around the world to access accounts on BestBuy.com and other online retailers’ e-commerce sites. These hackers did not take username/password combinations from any Best Buy system; they appear to be using combinations taken elsewhere in an attempt to gain access to BestBuy.com accounts.
If you've gotten such an email, pay special attention to this part:
Our investigation indicates that your account may have been accessed by these hackers. We are taking action now to help protect your account; we have disabled your current password, and ask that you take a few minutes to reset it.
Best Buy says to reactivate your account, go to BestBuy.com Password Reset, set up a new password, then validate that your personal information is correct.
We've asked Best Buy for comment about the issue, and will update this post when we hear back.
Security firm Identity Theft 911 suggests consumers take these steps, in general, to protect their accounts and identities online:
1. Review your account. "Identify what information it contains and what may have been compromised. Look for unauthorized purchasing activity."
2. Change all user access credentials. "If you use the same passwords for other websites, change them. Watch financial statements— on paper and online— for unauthorized transactions."
3. Place a fraud alert on your credit file. "If you're worried your account may have been accessed, you can place an alert with any one of the three major credit bureaus signals to potential creditors that you could be a victim of identity theft."
4. Review your credit reports and other accounts (email, bank sites) for any unusual activity. "Visit annualcreditreport.com, the government-mandated source for free annual credit reports. Investigate suspicious activity and stay on top of it until the matter is resolved."