Customers signed up to receive email updates and newsletter from popular television video recorder provider TiVo may have to keep a close look on their email accounts after it emerged TiVo customer data held by a third-party marketing company Epsilon was exposed by an unauthorized entry to its database.

The compromise, acknowledged in press releases by both companies, resulted in at least the first name and email address of many TiVo customers being stolen, potentially opening up accounts to deluge of phishing attacks and spam messages as the attackers seek to profit from their work.

Attacks on customer email databases have increased in the past few months, with TiVo the most recent in a long list of companies including McDonalds and online art community DeviantArt to have had email addresses stolen. It seems that not only was TiVo affected in the Epsilon breach, other companies including JP Morgan Chase and Kroger were also impacted by the breach.

TiVo has reiterated that customer credit card data and service information remains secure due to the fact that Epsilon is only used for marketing services and does not have access to any personally identifiable information.

If you are a TiVo customer and are worried you may receive unwanted emails, make sure to scan all attachments with a virus scanner before opening, do not open emails from senders that you might not trust and never give out any personal information.