As if the job of protecting yourself from identity theft is not enough with having to worry about your trash, your computer, where you use your credit card, or who you live next to; the chances of identity theft threatening your existence is only a matter of when and where it will happen when you consider the Data Breach. A data breach is the loss or threat brought to computers, paper files, electronic media, or electronic devices belonging to an organization (UCSC, 2013).
Hackers & malware
Hackers use malware and viruses to breach the security of an organization in order to gather massive amounts of data. The information sought in a data breach are passwords, social security numbers, personal identifying information, account numbers, driver’s license numbers and health and medical information. Following is a list of ways criminals use the data breach to steal your identity and your money through your trusted government, medical or financial sources (UCSC, 2013).
Robbers these days are not just looking for cash, but actually find your personal information just as valuable. In February 2013, according to a sample letter sent from Mercedes-Benz of Walnut Creek to customers, a thief or thieves forcibly broke into the dealership. Once inside they broke into the business office and the service department and stole customer files containing personal information.
Data Breach report
Hotels & identity theft
In March of 2013, Bryant Onell Niles, 28, a hotel desk clerk at the Baymont Inn Suites in Mobile Alabama was arrested for stealing 23 customer’s credit card information from the hotel’s database. Unfortunately, Mr. Niles had a criminal record but sadly the hotel had failed to perform a background check when he was hired.
Oops we sent your personal information to?
In August 2013, the Missouri HealthNet had to notify 1,357 people that they had accidently sent their personal identifying information to the wrong address. Missouri HealthNet stated that the mistake was the result of a software programming error that has since been corrected.
Thousands have been exposed to the risk of identity theft due to thieves stealing password protected laptops this year from employee’s cars, schools, a police detective’s backseat, security badge restricted areas, directly from a school’s administration office and from a surgeon’s vacation rental home.
Because hackers operate from almost anywhere in the world, the Santa Ana police cannot help; but you can do your part by spreading the word to protect others. File a complaint with the FTC at https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx It will also be necessary to file a complaint against businesses outside the U.S. by goint to, http://www.econsumer.gov/ For a list of resources to help you restore your identity visit, http://www.ci.santa-ana.ca.us/pd/documents/IdentityTheftEnglish.pdf
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UCSC (2013). Security breach examples and practices to avoid them University of California Santa Cruz. Retrieved from http://its.ucsc.edu/security/breaches.html