Friday, June 23, 2006

When Credit Bureaus Lose Your Data

When-Credit-Bureaus-Lose-Your-Data audio post - click to play

Equifax, Trans Union, & Experian are the
three major credit bureaus that each
maintain detailed financial historical
information on over 100 million
households across America.

These massive credit data repositories
literally hold the keys to your past
and future financial prosperity.

Usually we learn of identity theft
cases involving companies, universities,
government and medical offices losing
consumer's sensitive data.

But, what has recently happened involves
the typically security centric credit
bureaus.

Equifax, joining Trans Union, has itself
now become the victim of identity theft.


An employee's laptop, containing the
social security numbers (ssn) and
names of over half (2,500) of the total
staffers at the Atlanta based firm was
stolen May 29th in London.

Once again, we find an employee violated
company policy and placed sensitive
consumer information on a unsecure
and mobil laptop.


Although the laptop has not been recovered,
fortunately this latest security breach
only impacts the employees of Equifax
who were exposed to identity theft by
one of their own.

The general population of Americans were
not effected by this case of stolen
credit data.

However, Equifax is offering all of it's
employees free credit monitoring and the
fraud alert placement. To the company's
credit they also did not waste time in
notifying all of their employees who's
credit data was exposed.

Given that even credit bureaus are not
immune to identity theft, it is prudent
for you to strongly consider enrolling
in an automatic credit monitoring service.

Why wait until when (not if) your data
is lost or stolen. Remember in the past
year and half, over 80,000,000 Americans
have had their confidential credit
related data either stolen or exposed
by companies involving 130 separate
incidents.

2 Comments:

At 6:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your point is well taken, credit monitoring will not necessarily stop identity theft - especially the increasing type that's self exposed through employee error - but it's an effective way to get alerted soon enough in time to do something to counter act the misdeeds of others.

Your web site reveals a disparaging picture of just how frequent identity theft has now become.

Kudos to you and your staff or keeping us informed.

 
At 2:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We really are in trouble with identity theft with even the credit bureaus and the FTC can't even protect themselves.

Then I read on your site where AIG, who sells identity theft insurance itself, also lost nearly a million people's confidential stuff.

I guess we really need to do it ourselves, then.

What else am I missing?

 

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