Millions of LivingSocial users should change their passwords now after a security breach put customer data at risk. If you use the same or a similar password on other websites, you should change these too.

The daily deals site's chief executive, Tim O'Shaughnessy, has emailed members saying that the site is "expiring" old passwords and asking users to create a new one. This follows a security breach that resulted in unauthorised access to some customer data (see our ID Fraud Protection guide for help on protecting yourself).

Key Points

  • LivingSocial has suffered a security breach
  • Names, email addresses and passwords accessed
  • Users should change passwords now

Hackers were able to see names, email addresses, the dates of birth of some users and encrypted passwords. The fear is passwords may be decoded.

LivingSocial does, however, stress that its database of customer credit card information was not affected or accessed.

The site, which offers deals and discounts on restaurants and family outings to spa days, has more than 70 million members around the world. LivingSocial says it has contacted 50 million customers globally who "may" be affected by the hack.

This includes those who have bought deals on the site, and those who have subscribed but never made a purchase. You should also be contacted about the breach if you've unsubscribed from LivingSocial marketing emails.

LivingSocial says it's "actively working with the authorities to investigate this issue".

It won't confirm when the breach occurred as the investigation is ongoing, although the email seen by was sent by LivingSocial over the weekend and says the breach happened "recently".

Beware of spam emails

LivingSocial says it will never ask you directly for personal or account information in an email and it will always direct you to its website – and require you to login – before making any changes to your account.

So beware of any emails claiming to be from LivingSocial that request such information, or direct you to a different website which asks for such information.

The email sent by LivingSocial to customers adds: "The security of your information is our priority. We always strive to ensure the security of our customer information, and we are redoubling efforts to prevent any issues in the future.

"We are sorry this incident occurred, and we look forward to continuing to introduce you to new and exciting things to do in your community."