Tuesday, June 06, 2006

ID Theft

Potentially sensitive information was revealed stolen from Medicaid , the Veterans’ Administration, and Hotels.com over the past weekend – all via stolen laptops.

Headlines such as these and about the ability of the more unscrupulous, especially those more recently, should raise our awareness and concern—and not just with laptops. It can—and pretty much seems to-- happen to almost anyone.

Echoes? Last Wednesday we reported the suit again the Department of Veterans’ Affairs over the theft of 26,000 veterans’ personal data – that incident now turned out to be more extensive than first thought…. Stolen laptop.

Remember Los Alamos losing discs (and then finding them behind a copier) a while back? There was more.

It wasn’t that long ago that ChoicePoint had things stirred up for some time.

The problem’s not just in the United States, as this article from the BBC illustrates.

The point is, there are no absolutes. You can’t “cover all the bases” all of the time, and answers & solutions seem fleeting. Sometimes its just dumb luck, and there wasn’t anything that could’ve been done anyway. But awareness & a little more than just reasonable care can pay off several times over. Over the past year or so, there have been a number of “guides” and articles on how to counter potential information thefts, Some of them might be helpful to our readers. Law.com, for instance, posted an article a couple of days ago about potential laptop dangers; and PCstats published “Beginners’ Guide: Preventing Data Theft From a Stolen Laptop,” which is more involved and goes into more detail.

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