It seems there's a giant breach of retailer data every month. I have had cards replaced and so have many people that I know. My poor BIL had his card declined at a very inconvenient time because his bank noted he'd used it at an affected store and took it upon itself to cancel his card and not let him know until it was already done, leaving him without a bank card for about two weeks until the next one came in the mail.
A coupon community I belong to discussed the latest breach -- from Staples. A friend shared that she was included in the Target breach a while back and that the free credit monitoring was pretty much useless.
Krebs On Security agrees with her, too. In the wake of waves of data breaches, you should read their article here. Don't rely on a free credit monitoring service to make you feel safe, because they do little to protect you proactively avoid identity theft.
One thing that we have begun to do in recent months is to not use our bank card very much at all. Our credit card has fraud protection, so it's much safer to use it while out shopping. Tis better to have the ability to dispute charges (I recommend reviewing your credit card charges a few times a week) then to have to argue with your bank to get your money back in time to pay your mortgage.
What say you? Have you signed up for a free credit reporting agency? I just can't imagine that a hacker wouldn't hold onto information for a while and then use it when you let your guard down. You know, after the free credit monitoring ends.