Photo courtesy of Flickr

Hotel company Marriott says its guest reservation system — a database called Starwood — has been hacked, potentially exposing the personal information of millions of guests who stayed at Sheraton, Westin, St. Regis and other hotels within the company.

The security breach for could have impacted as many as 500 million people who have used the guest reservation on or before Sept. 10, Marriott says. Hackers have had access to the database since 2014.

Here are a few things to know about the breach:

What to know

Marriott says exposed information for 327 million guests includes a combination of their names, mailing and email addresses, phone numbers, passport numbers, date of birth and arrival and departure information.

For the remaining guests, the information was limited to name and possibly other data such as mailing addresses, email addresses or other information.

Was credit card information taken?

Credit card numbers and expiration dates were potentially compromised by hackers, Marriott says, but the company can't confirm if information — which has to go through a two-component decryption process — was successfully retrieved.

Which hotels were affected?

Starwood brands include: W Hotels, St. Regis, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Element Hotels, Aloft Hotels, The Luxury Collection, Tribute Portfolio, Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, Four Points by Sheraton and Design Hotels.

Starwood branded timeshare properties are also included.

What should I do if I stayed at one of the above properties?

Beginning Friday, Marriott will send emails on a rolling basis to guests whose email addresses are in the Starwood guest reservation database.

The company established a website and call center to answer questions you may have about this incident. The U.S. call center number is 877-273-9481.

Marriott is giving its guests a free, one-year membership to WebWatcher, a personal information monitoring service.

Dylan Skye Aycock is a Nashville-based journalist and photographer. As a reporter for Rover, Aycock follows transportation, housing and retail trends, as well as other hyperlocal and city-wide issues that affect residents in Green Hills and Belle Meade.

She previously contributed written and visual content to The Murfreesboro Pulse, American Songwriter Magazine and The Tennessean. Aycock earned a journalism degree from Middle Tennessee State University, where she honed her craft as editor-in-chief of Sidelines, the university's student-run publication. When she's not out on assignment or live-tweeting city council meetings, you can find her discovering new local spots or catching a show at one of Nashville's many music venues.


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