On Friday, hotel chain conglomerate Marriott International announced that it was the latest company to fall victim to a serious data breach, which allowed cybercriminals to steal personal information of 500 million customers.

What happened?

Credit card numbers, addresses, email addresses, and passport numbers were among the information stolen by criminals after they breached the hotel chain’s reservation system, starting as far back as 2014, according to reports.

Marriott acquired the Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 2016, which owns Sheraton, Westin, and W Hotels, among others. So if you stayed in one of the other hotel brands, you may be affected as well.

Numerous other companies in recent years have suffered big hack attacks resulting in the loss of important customer data.

Two such attacks include Yahoo, where names and email addresses for 3 billion customers were stolen in two attacks starting in 2013, and JPMorgan Chase which lost names and log-ins for about 80 million accounts in 2014.

How to protect yourself against data breaches?

Even if you haven’t stayed at a Marriott or affiliated hotel brand in recent years, it’s worth paying attention to cyber break-ins.

That’s because information pilfered by criminals can be used to steal your identity, and conduct online fraud that can result in financial losses–or worse–for you and your family.

Get smarter about your money

To find out more about what you can do to protect your data and your online identity, including credit freezes and using two-factor authentication, read here.

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