There’s a good chance that your account may have been compromised.
Just this past weekend, Marriot hotels have announced that it has suffered a data breach that has affected more than 500 million users. If you have stayed at a Starwood property in the past couple of years, there’s a good chance that your personal data may have been exposed.
Marriot is currently the owner of the Starwood brand and is one of the biggest hotel chains in the world. The hack is known to have happened way back in 2014. “On September 8, 2018, Marriott received an alert from an internal security tool regarding an attempt to access the Starwood guest reservation database in the United States. Marriott quickly engaged leading security experts to help determine what occurred. Marriott learned during the investigation that there had been unauthorized access to the Starwood network since 2014. The company recently discovered that an unauthorized party had copied and encrypted information, and took steps towards removing it. On November 19, 2018, Marriott was able to decrypt the information and determined that the contents were from the Starwood guest reservation database,” the company wrote in a statement.
Marriot said that more than half of the compromised data include user’s personal information such as email addressed, passport numbers, and date of birth along with credit card details. What’s worrying is that once hackers have this information, it could be used to steal your identity or worse lose your money over unauthorized usage.
Marriot did say that it will begin sending emails to affected users. It will also offer a WebWatcher account free for one year as a way for you to keep your personal data safe just in case someone decides to use it.
Marriot has also set up a website (info.starwoodhotels.com) to assist users.
At the moment, the best way you can protect yourself from the hack is to regularly change your passwords and if possible, get a separate credit card when making online purchases. Also monitor your transactions regularly to see if there are any charges that you may not have made.