Commentary

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Port of Seattle Loses Worker Data

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The Port of Seattle said Monday that personal data on nearly 7,000 current and former employees at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is missing.

The data could be useful to an identity thief because it may include addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and other information.

More information about the breach can be found on their website. A hotline number (888-902-PORT) was established for those affected by this incident.

Source: The Seattle Times

Written by MCruz on October 3rd, 2006 with no comments.
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Free Credit Monitoring Offer for Veterans Revoked

Since the infamous laptop containing personal information of 26.5 million veterans was returned, the Bush administration has withdrawn its offer of free credit monitoring to veterans.

Rob Portman, the White House budget director, wrote House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) yesterday withdrawing the administration’s request for $160.5 million to pay for a year of free credit monitoring and citing the June 28 recovery of the stolen laptop and external hard drive by police. The FBI said it had a “high degree of confidence” that thieves had not accessed the files containing the names, Social Security numbers and birth dates of millions of veterans and active-duty military personnel.

Notice that the FBI didn’t say they were 100% sure. In any case, this “saves” the government millions of dollars. Let’s see where they’ll allocate those savings.

Source: Washington Post

Written by MCruz on July 19th, 2006 with no comments.
Read more articles on Commentary and Government and Identity Theft and Veterans.

Top 10 Ways to Prevent Identity Theft

A close friend of mine recently had her purse stolen. She was the type of person who kept everything in her purse, this includes bank statements (she balances her checkbook during her lunch breaks) and her children’s Social Security numbers plainly written on a piece of paper. Doh!

This prompted me to write this article so that others may learn from her unfortunate incident.

  1. Do not carry your Social Security number in your wallet or purse. If your social security number is listed on your driver’s license, health insurance card, or checkbook, request to have it reissued with the sensitive information removed.
  2. Make a list of all your credit card account numbers and bank account numbers with customer service phone numbers, and keep it in a safe place. An easy way to do this is to photocopy or scan the front and back of all the contents of your wallet regularly. This will make it easier to contact the creditors in case of theft or loss, as well as replace items such as your health insurance card and driver’s license.
  3. Review your credit report annually and correct any mistakes promptly. Credit reports are available for free from http://www.annualcreditreport.com/. This central site allows you to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. At no time should you have to enter a credit card number or provide other type of payment for these services. What I do is to request one credit report from each bureau every four months. The information is fairly common so there’s no need for you to get all three reports at the same time.
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Written by MCruz on July 11th, 2006 with 9 comments.
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Bank not responsible when they lost customer data

Unbelievable. News.com reports a ruling in the courts of Minnesota – since personal information was not abused by thieves who had stolen a laptop – Wells Fargo is not liable for negligence. The laptop contained unencrypted customer information including names, addresses, Social Security numbers and account numbers.

If the banks will not take extra precautions to safeguard your data (like encrypting it), then it is up to the informed consumer to do business with financial institutions who value their customerís confidential data.

Written by MCruz on April 14th, 2006 with no comments.
Read more articles on Banks and Commentary and Identity Theft.