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Tesco suffers online data leak

18 February 2014 - 12:16 by Mike Price

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Supermarket giant Tesco, admitted this month that it has had to respond to an incident of data theft, which left 2,240 user accounts for its e-commerce service open to exploitation, according to the Daily Mail.

Usernames and passwords which would have allowed malicious third parties to access accounts designed to allow legitimate customers to carry out safe shopping online, appeared in the open and while some were initially sceptical, social media murmurings suggested that the information was legitimate.

The good news for customers of Tesco is that the retailer itself was not responsible for the leak, as it came from a third party and is further evidence that having a secure personal approach to setting up accounts with online retailers can be the best defence against cybercriminals.

Basically, the issue at hand here is that some customers used the same combination of email address and password for more than one service. So if a third party gets access to this, they can effectively break into all of your online accounts, not just one.

The best way to enjoy safe shopping online without being compromised, according to security experts, is to use a different password for each and every site you select.

While this may sound like a hassle, the alternative is much worse, so keeping track of four or five passwords as opposed to having your personal information stolen, is the obvious way to go about things.

A Tesco spokesperson revealed that other parties having security systems compromised led to the leaks, thus putting a group of its customers under threat.

The fact that it could identify the issue and act quickly to freeze the impacted accounts, shows that it is committed to delivering a secure experience for all. But customers also need to be vigilant, to stay safe online.