Carphone Warehouse database hacked, up to 2.4m affected

Sign of the times

Another week, another major hacking attack - this time around it's Carphone Warehouse that's been hit, with information on up to 2.4 million customers potentially at risk and data for some 90,000 credit cards exposed too.

Owner Dixons Carphone says the "vast majority" of customers are unaffected, but if you've done business with OneStopPhoneShop.com, e2save.com, Mobiles.co.uk, TalkTalk Mobile, Talk Mobile or Carphone Warehouse then you might be involved.

"We are, of course, informing anyone that may have been affected, and have put in place additional security measures," Sebastian James, chief executive of Dixons Carphone, told the BBC. "We take the security of customer data extremely seriously, and we are very sorry that people have been affected by this attack on our systems."

Watch your hacks

If you're wondering exactly what these major hacks mean for consumers, it's difficult to quantify - the cybercriminals could use your date of birth and address information to guess one of your online passwords or answer the security questions to reset it, for example.

More sensitive data, such as credit card details and passwords, should be protected by encryption, making it hard for hackers to use - TalkTalk says some passwords may not have been encrypted, but that any affected accounts have been locked as a precaution.

It's one of the reasons you shouldn't use the same password on all your accounts - if one server gets accessed, hackers can waltz through all of your apps and services as a result.

The best course of action, as Dixons Carphone has said, is to change up the security details on your online accounts and check your bank balances for suspicious activity. You might also want to contact your phone operator of choice and ask them about their cybersecurity procedures.