Archive for August, 2008
In researching the types of identity theft and occurrences of identity theft, we find more and more that a lot of the larger companies are either targeted or become victims of the professional ID Theft criminal. They either lose track of a laptop, or have a desktop computer hacked. Every once in a while, it is due to an employee who no longer keeps information confidential. Since we all have to give out personal information in order to conduct business with certain companies, wouldn’t it be a good idea to have a way of detecting whether or not that information is being compromised sooner than later?
Have you ever gone to the mall or a clothing store to apply for a job ? If so, which one was it? Could you have been one of the estimated 800,000 that were exposed when a laptop was stolen from a contractor who manages data for a major clothing retail store?
Have you ever put in an application for credit with a company online? Maybe you were applying for a credit card, auto loan or mortgage. Be ware of the following announcement made in August 2008:
We can never be too careful when it comes to protecting ourselves from identity theft and the slime that carry through with committing it. We often review how to protect ourselves when we know our information has been compromised, but what have we done if we don’t know that it has or if we have not been a victim?
Being proactive is key. We must have protection to help stop (or at least significantly slow down) this crime.
1) We had a previous item on installing a firewall on your computer to be less likely of being hacked by internet “crime” surfers;
OK, so you got out to the mall to shop your heart out and when you finally get to that restaurant at the end of the day to get a meal, you realize that your wallet is missing. What store did I leave it in? Did I leave it on the counter? Did it get stolen? You back track and realize that your wallet is no where to be found. Now what? There are a million things to do and you are in a panic. Which credit card to cancel first…what time does the bank open…you don’t feel like filing a report with the police or you can alert one service: WalletLock.
One form of identity theft that is quickly increasing, is medical identity theft. Each year, more than 250,000 and as many as 500,000 people have their medical identity stolen. Who would have thought that someone would be looking to steal your medical identity?
According to the Wasington Post, the personal data of over 2,000 clients of an investment firm were available to the public. One of the firm employee’s used a file-sharing network to trade a media file and erringly opened the files containing this private data. Those involved in this breach, included a Supreme Court Justice. This exposure was not detected until about six months later when a Wahingtonpost.com reader, read one of their blogs and then later used the same file-sharing website as the accused employee.
After a theft of several laptops last month, thousands of Charter Communications personnel have had their personal data stolen. This affects both current and former employees. Those affected were sent letters explaining that these laptops were stolen from company property. Data stolen includes social security numbers, birth dates and driver license numbers. Many of those involved are in the South Carolina area. The theft is being investigated.
More Ways to Protect Yourself
Wells Fargo has recently had to begin a full probe into a crime that involved the theft of the identity information of thousands of customers. Between May and June of this year, a Wells Fargo access code was use to break into customer records of the company. This was not the fault of Wells Fargo, but rather, a company called MicroBilt which is a self proclaimed “industry leader in risk management information.” It was not until July 1 that MicroBilt informed Wells Fargo of the breach. Business between the two companies has since been terminated. The Secret Service has been notified and the recent incident is now under investigation. Around 5,000 are affected by this incident and customers are being made aware. (more…)
Over 9,000 people are at risk of having had their personal information, including social security number, exposed. In July of 2008, someone attempted to hack into the campus’ network, exposing thousands of records. Those affected include students, faculty and staff.
The university’s vice president and chief information officer has apologized for the incident and has assured those involved that they have not yet found any evidence of the data being misused or acquired by another party during the exposure. They will be looking to inform all who might be at risk.
This has not been the first attempt at stealing data from their network. This also happened back in 2006 and affected the personal information of upwards of 35,000.