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Should Sony users cancel their credit cards? Security experts say yes

Sophos' senior technology consultant has urged PlayStation Network users to change their passwords, audit their bank and email accounts and cancel their credit cards.

Now Sony's PlayStation Network has been hacked, there are two schools of thought as to what your next course of action should be. Sony, unsurprisingly, has urged its 77 million users to stay calm, change their passwords and hope for the best. Internet security firm Sophos, on the other hand, is predicting the worst.

The company has published a post on its Naked Security blog suggesting PlayStation Network users should change their passwords, audit their bank and email accounts, cancel their credit cards and should even think twice about giving this sort of information to the likes of Sony in future.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos said, "If my friend said he's borrowed my credit card and might have lost it, I'd cancel my card and (perhaps) dump the friend."

Cluley went on to say that if he'd lost his card in the back of a taxi he would cancel it, despite there being a chance the taxi driver might return it. "I wouldn't wait for a fraudster to sting it for cash," he said. "If Sony has lost your credit card details then it's worse [than losing it in a taxi], as the credit card information is now being held digitally, right in the hands of people best placed to exploit it."

Others, including Sony, may argue that cancelling your credit card is a rash step since nobody is 100 per cent sure whether the hackers do have users' credit card information -- and even if they did, the banks will (eventually) reimburse you for fraudulent transactions.

That said, Crave believes you should err on the side of caution. Change your passwords (all of them), and if your card was registered to the PlayStation Network then cancel it. Waiting a week or so for a new card to arrive is going to be far less stressful than realising your account's been cleaned out and having to wait up to 60 days for the bank to reimburse you.

We'd love to know how you feel about the subject. Are you a PSN user? Are you worried about your data being stolen by hackers? Have you cancelled your cards? Let us know in the comments below.

Image: SqueakyMarmot via Flickr