[UPDATE: Home Depot has since confirmed the data breach -Ed.]
Home Depot confirmed on Tuesday that they’re investigating the possibility of a data breach at almost 2,000 locations. While I want to stress that a breach has not yet been confirmed, the possibility has a lot of people concerned. A Home Depot data breach doesn’t sound too crazy given that Target has had a similar issue recently.
Whether or not a data breach occurred, the story’s out there and people are going to be looking for answers to be sure that their data is safe. Customers will be coming to their bank for help, after all it’s “the banks who see suspicious activity before anyone else”.
Navigating the Home Depot Data Breach
Customers all have one simple question. “Is my information safe?” Unfortunately, the answer’s pretty complicated. Banks need to communicate what the signs of identity theft are and how customers can remain vigilant and protected.
While the call center might be lighting up at a time like this, many people are looking for answers online. The Millennial mindset especially looks online first. A bank’s website should have content that addresses the steps customers need to take in the event of a data breach.
At a bare and absolute minimum, the bank should make it clear on their website that customers can call them to get help. That recourse might seem obvious, but it lets customers know that the bank is there for them and aware of the issues they’re facing.
However, a stronger solution that will build better ties with customers is to have a page or two of content with tips that can help. The bank should explain what signs of data theft look like. For example, missing bills or strange withdrawals. Some people might need help with credit reports – do they know they can get a free one every year? People are searching for this type of content.
Banks can give customers the information they need, written out clearly and concisely in a way that’s easy to access.
The Home Depot data breach will not be the last cyber attack we hear about. Sooner or later another big company will be in the news. It’s the role of the bank to help alleviate customers’ fear. Provide content to give customers the tools they need to make sure their data is safe.