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.
It would be a shame if consumers ever reached the point where news of a data breach did little more than raise eyebrows. But that’s the sad impact of having so many consumer records stolen by cybercriminals on a regular basis. Hopefully, news of this recent data breach will be more cause for alarm.
Just when parents might have thought it was safe to go back online, another data breach that affects the user accounts of millions of individuals—mostly children and teens—has taken place.
Last June, the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM) made a startling announcement: it had been the victim of a sophisticated, large-scale hacking event.
It was only two years ago that shoppers during the Black Friday madness received an unwelcomed gift: their personal details and credit card information were stolen by hackers in what was then one of the largest known retail data breaches.