Does the Goodwill security breach investigation affect Oregon?

Does the Goodwill security breach investigation affect Oregon? »Play Video

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Target, Neiman Marcus and now Goodwill. Investigators are checking to see if there has been a security breach at the nonprofit with almost 3,000 stores around the world.

But if you shopped at Goodwill stores in the Portland area, you should be safe.

Dale Emanuel, Public Relations Manager for Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette, said the 49 stores in its area are not affected by the possible breach.

The Columbia Willamette area includes the Goodwill stores in Northwest Oregon, Central Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Goodwill stores are not part of a centralized system, so thieves attacking a Goodwill in New York would not have access to your credit card data in the Portland area.

"To assume that were all connected is understandable, because some businesses are and they have multiple stores," said Emanuel. "But that is not the case with Goodwill. We're independent of one another."

Here are ways for you to be prepared for a security breach:

1. Shop with your credit card instead of your debit card. You have more protection with a credit card if thieves get your information.

2. Watch your bank statements. You may find evidence of problems before you hear about a breach from the company itself.

3. Try bank email alerts. Some banks will send you a message when someone makes a major purchase with your account.

4. Don't use the same password for your bank accounts that you do for other accounts.

5. Check your credit reports regularly to see if someone has opened up any credit cards in your name. You can do that here for free.