Yet another laptop stolen...
Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield is warning more than 300,000 members that some of their personal information was on a laptop computer that was stolen.
The Laptop contained names, Social Security numbers and other personal information for about 10 percent of the insurer's 3.3 million customers in New Jersey.
Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield says the risk of identity theft is small because the data was protected by password. Also, the computer that was stolen on January 5th, was programmed to automatically destroy the information on Jan. 23rd.
The laptop contained names, Social Security numbers and other personal information (no medical information) for about 10 percent of the insurer's 3.3 million customers in New Jersey.
Company spokesman Daniel Emmer said, the computer was stolen on Jan. 5 while it was being taken home by an employee. According to their spokesperson, customers whose names were on the computer are being offered a year of free credit monitoring.
Over the last year, many of the data breaches that have occurred have happened through the theft of laptops. In fact, various manufacturers of GPS tracking software for laptops point to research gathered from the FBI and large laptop insurers that claim that one laptop is stolen every twelve seconds. And some say that number is conservative, since not all laptop thefts are reported and much of the data used in the research is outdated as laptop usage continues to skyrocket. Laptops are a growing target of thieves and the data stored on them is viewed as a hot commodity worth more than its weight in gold!
With news of daily (or hourly) data breaches, it's becoming increasingly difficult to control whether or not our personal information is safe and secure in the hands of other people who are in charge of guarding our data.
The good news is, you can take command of your peace of mind-but only if you take the preventative steps required to protect yourself before your information has been reported stolen. Don't become one of the millions this year who will learn their information has been stolen, compromised or at risk. It's much easier and more cost effective to take action now -and enjoy peace of mind later.