With the volume and velocity of data breaches happening on a daily basis, it’s safe to say that your Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is “out there” and is available to fraudsters on the Dark Web.
One of the latest security incidents to further reflect this is the Marriott hotels mega breach of its Starwood guest reservation database announced on November 30th, 2018. According to reports, an unauthorized party accessed the reservations database for Starwood properties, which include Sheraton, Westin and St. Regis hotels. The 30-brand hotelier was first alerted to suspicious activity on its network in September 2018. From there, security experts were brought in to investigate and it was discovered that there was unauthorized access to the entire Starwood network dating back to 2014.
What’s at Stake in a Data Breach
Though there seems to be a general desensitization by consumers regarding news of data breaches, it’s still critical to understand what type of PII was compromised and the steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, your employees — essentially all those you care about.
In this latest breach announcement, Marriott estimates that 500 million guest names, physical and email addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers, gender, passport numbers, Starwood rewards information, travel details, and communication preferences were compromised. An undisclosed number of guests also had their payment card numbers and expiration dates exposed.As a reminder, it takes just two pieces of PII for a fraudster to commit synthetic identity theft. Tweet This!
The Security Impact to Starwood Guests
If you have stayed at any of the following since 2014, your information was likely exposed:
- W Hotels
- Sheraton Hotels & Resorts
- Westin Hotels & Resorts
- Element Hotels
- Aloft Hotels
- The Luxury Collection
- Tribute Portfolio
- Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts
- Four Points by Sheraton
- Design Hotels
- Starwood-branded timeshare properties
Don’t Wait for the Next Data Breach | Get Protected Now
Marriott’s Starwood data breach marks the largest of 2018, so far – with half a billion consumers potentially exposed to fraud and identity theft. Tweet This! If you suspect your personal information was compromised in Marriott’s data breach, be vigilant about monitoring your financial accounts, be wary of phishing attempts using your stolen information to look legitimate, and update your password on Marriott/Starwood as well as any other website the same password it used.
To truly protect yourself from fraud, sign up for top-rated identity theft protection that monitors all of your accounts and alerts you, in real-time, to any suspicious activity. Not to mention, IdentityForce offers 100 percent, white-glove restoration with up to $1 million in insurance if your identity were to become compromised.