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Sony’s PlayStation Network recently suffered an outage that affected some 70 million accounts due to a hack of its online system that compromised users’ personal data, possibly including credit card information.

The full extent of the breach is unknown. But, according to Sony, as many as 10 million credit cards may have been compromised.

During the outage, PlayStation users were greeted with an error message when attempting to get online, but the company did not comment on the potential cause of the network outage until Tuesday, when it posted a blog with this statement:

"We have discovered that between April 17 and April 19, 2011, certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network."

Louis Pietig, a gamer, tells CNN he’s furious that Sony took so long to warn users about the hack so they could check their credit cards. And he’s not alone, several players are outraged by the incident and Sony’s handling of the situation.

Prevent Identity Theft

Awareness is the most effective weapon against identity theft. Below are several steps to help protect your identity.

Shred everything. Would-be identity thieves acquire information through trash-picking. Don’t throw out bills, credit card statements and other important financial documents without shredding them first.

Check your statement. Check your billing statement often to make sure there isn’t any suspicious activity or purchases. The earlier you catch an error, the easier it is to resolve it.

Keep numbers private. Don’t put your credit card numbers on checks or envelopes. And don’t give out your account numbers over the phone unless you are the one who initiated the phone call.

Get your credit report. You are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three main credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – by federal law. Get a copy of your credit report once a year from www.annualcreditreport.com.

Lastly, secure your personal information online and offline. Do not carry your Social Security card in your wallet.

The FTC has prepared a collection of easy-to-use materials to enable anyone regardless of existing knowledge about identity theft to inform others about this serious crime.

5 Comments

  1. Gravatar for Andre

    when will the psn be online again? because i bought some online games week back still haven't been able to play it.... desperate to sell my ps3 and buy a xbox 360 at least they dont have online problems

  2. The best I have seen is stories that suggest "soon". As to other systems I hope they are all learning from what happened here. Best of luck and thanks for reading and the comment.

  3. I got a email from a reader suggesting that they are now getting a number of weird emails. It will be interesting to find out what is going on.

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