You've probably never heard of Epsilon Data Management before this weekend. It's a good bet, though, that the email marketing company has heard of you.
In fact, you've probably even received email from them. Only instead of Epsilon's name in the "From:" field, you would have thought you were hearing directly from a familiar household brand. Like Best Buy. L.L.Bean. Citibank. Walgreens. Disney. Barclay’s Bank. J.P. Morgan Chase. U.S. Bancorp. Marriott. Home Shopping Network. TiVo. The list goes on and on.
Epsilon does the behind-the-scenes work of email marketing for more than 2,500 companies, and they're in a world of public-relations hurt right now: On March 30, the company’s email system was hacked, exposing thousands of email addresses and/or customer names.
What does this mean for you? Keep a sharp eye on your email over the coming weeks, because spammers might be trying to take advantage of this attack.
It could definitely be worse—it's not like your credit card information was leaked. (Whew.) But now that the hackers have a list of names and addresses associated with specific businesses, they may try and send messages to those customers.
A spammer could, for instance, send an email to a Best Buy customer that looks like it's from the electronic firm, but is really just a ploy to get you to click a nefarious link ... or even grant access to your bank account.
There doesn't seem to be any clear advice for determining whether a message is the real deal or a phishing attempt, so your best bet is to proceed with caution. Flag messages that ask you to re-submit personal information, provide billing access, or anything else that requires action on your part. Mouse over links in messages to see if they take you where they claim.
Or just delete anything you're unsure about, and give the company a call to see if it's legitimate.
Did you get any messages telling you that you were potentially affected by the Epsilon security breach?
Image via Flickr/Marc Kjerland