In a case that is almost too mindboggling to be true, the Department of Veterans Affairs sent an email to a citizen in Wisconsin last April that contained the names and complete identifying information (including Social Security numbers) for hundreds of veterans within the state.
Once upon a time, the content of phishing emails was amusing, if not downright bizarre. These emails included odd stories about deposed royalty from far-off countries, people who barely managed to escape with their lives… and their billions of dollars.
One of the commonalities in any kind of data breach—no matter whom, no matter how big or small—is that consumers put their trust in someone and then that trust was violated. Whether it’s turning over your medical records to a hospital or entering your credit card information on a website, we have an expectation that the people in charge will protect us.
Some current and former university students and staff may be in for a rude awakening when it comes to their personal identifiable information: it may have been compromised in a recent data breach of University of Central Florida servers.
With the tax return filing season fully here, identity thieves are ramping up their work in order to beat consumers to the punch. Two online filing companies—TaxSlayer and TaxAct—have already discovered that they were the victims of an outside data breach last fall, one that compromised the highly-sensitive personal identifiable information for many of their customers.
As a consumer, I think about how my information may still reside with a tax preparer or doctor that I have not done business with in 10 years, especially when I read stories of a data breach because of inactive customer information being stolen from an unsecure environment.
Last summer’s widespread hacking of several major universities may be behind us, but the effects of knowing that prying eyes were able to infiltrate a secured network is unsettling. Unfortunately, those concerns have only been renewed for one university in the wake of a brand-new, seemingly unrelated data breach.