NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Target (TGT) confirmed Thursday that hackers may have compromised 40 million customer credit and debit card accounts, TheStreet's Laurie Kulikowski reported. 

Shoppers who swiped their cards while making in-store purchases between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 -- during the busy Christmas gift-buying season -- should check their plastic cards' account activity, she advised.

Those 40 million U.S. shoppers who used their cards at Target stores during that time could have had their personal information compromised including names, card numbers, expiration dates and security codes, Kulikowski said. 

One bright spot in all of this: Canadian and online customers were not affected by the hacking, she said.

-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.

Bret Kenwell currently writes, blogs and also contributes to Robert Weinstein's Weekly Options Newsletter. Focuses on short-to-intermediate-term trading opportunities that can be exposed via options. He prefers to use debit trades on momentum setups and credit trades on support/resistance setups. He also focuses on building long-term wealth by searching for consistent, quality dividend paying companies and long-term growth companies. He considers himself the surfer, not the wave, in relation to the market and himself. He has no allegiance to either the bull side or the bear side.

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