The Identity Theft Resource Center provides a number of services related to identity theft prevention and victim support. In order to do that job effectively, it’s important to track the numbers of data breaches each year and the numbers of victim records that have been compromised. But new findings, at least in one state-wide study, found that there were more data breach victims in that state than citizens.
With record setting numbers of data breaches happening each year, there’s an excellent chance that you will become a victim of lost or stolen personal data—if you haven’t already, that is. One of the chief concerns security experts have in this climate of hacking and fraud attempts is that consumers will stop taking the threat so seriously. So what do you need to do if you’re a victim in a data breach?
When news breaks of any major event, scammers go to work in an attempt to steal money or personal identifiable information from their victims. Literally within hours of the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th, scammers were out soliciting donations to help the relief effort. The same is true of the earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010, the tsunami that hit Japan in 2011, and so on.
No matter where it occurs, “suspicious activity” is almost never a good thing and it’s important to take it seriously. Whether it’s your own bank statement or a major company’s credit card payment system, acting quickly can minimize the damage and put you back in control.
Hospitals, retail stores, schools, and now parking garages: no business or organization seems to be immune to the effects of hacking. Annapolis, Maryland, residents are now learning about the extent of a recent data breach that seems to have affected three of the city’s parking garages, stealing customer credit card information.
Anyone who’s familiar with the popular “professional world” social media site LinkedIn has probably already heard the news of their data breach. Hackers reportedly gained unauthorized access to millions of user names and passwords; this is slightly more alarming than a typical credit card breach due to the fact that LinkedIn users are representing their professional lives on the site. The potential for harm to their businesses and their reputations is quite real.
An unfortunate computer user mistake led to one school administrator resigning from her job and more than 1,000 people having very personal information inadvertently shared with dozens of people. Last December, a Montana high school assistant principal attached what she thought were meeting notes in an email to around thirty parents, but the attachment actually contained identifying data, medical records, discipline records, and even mental health data on more than one thousand current and former students of that school.