The PSN Hack – How To Protect Yourself

The PSN Hack – How To Protect Yourself

by Rebecca Hall on 10 May, 2011

The hacking of the PlayStation Network has left gamers without access for over a week now; but the real damage isn’t a lack of game time but rather a loss of private and important information.

From the start it must be stressed that Sony continues to say that there is no evidence that card details have been compromised. However the electronics giant cannot promise for certain that those details have not been compromised. Therefore all PSN customers are being advised to be vigilant and to take appropriate precautions to prevent fraud and other losses.

The first thing to do is indentify which card or cards were on file at PSN. Of course many of us won’t be sure which of our debit or credit cards we used when we signed up with the PSN years ago but there are two ways you can find out. First, you can search for emails from “DoNotReply@ac.playstation.net” which should contain the first and last 4 digits of your card and should allow you to indentify your card. Alternatively you can of course check your bank statements for any payments to PlayStation Network or Qriocity.

Once you’ve found out which card was used then you should get in touch with your bank and check whether that card has been used for any transactions that you didn’t authorise. If it has then the bank should be able to recover any funds which have been spent from your account.

If your card hasn’t been used then you should still take the time to ensure that you don’t become a victim of fraud in the future. The first step is to be wary of any emails of other approaches over the next few weeks which claim you must provide your card details. Neither Sony nor any other reputable company will ever ask for your details over the phone or in an email and as such you should not supply them in this way.

Second, contact your bank and ask them what they advise to be the best course of action. Some will be happy to send you out a new card although this will of course cause problems if the old card has been used for many online payment systems. Alternatively other banks will note that there is a potential breach and keep a closer eye on the transactions entered into by that card.

The hack didn’t just target credit card details though, and in fact the main focus was on much more basic information such as names, email addresses and passwords. The danger here is that if you have used the same password, name or email address with other vendors, then a third party may be able to gain access to your accounts elsewhere. Therefore, it is crucial that you change the passwords for your online banking as well as any other service where you have used the same password as for PSN and where you have entered your card details. Examples of such services could be iTunes, Xbox Live or Spotify.

Together, these steps should help you to identify whether you have already been a victim of fraud and if not, to prevent you from being defrauded in the future.

About the Author

Rebecca Hall


Rebecca Hall worked as an independent mortgage adviser for 10 years before turning to financial journalism full time. She has strong links to the CAB advising families on mortgage refinancing.