Latest Data Losses Over The Holiday Weekend...Could you be affected?

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National Institutes of Healthh -March 24, 2008
Stolen Laptop contains names & medical information on 2500

Western Carolina University - March 23, 2008 SSN's Hacked

Agilent Technologies - March 22, 2008 Stolen Laptop has names, SSN's and financial information of 51,000

Rhode Island Department of Administration - March 21, 2008 1400 SSN's on Disk Missing


The above reported data compromises come right behind last weeks blog: A Few Data Loss Incidents Reported This Week...

By the sheer number of the ongoing "reported" data breaches, it should be quite obvious (even to Experian) that odds are pretty good we can expect to be effected by a hacker or identity thief one day. These continued data breaches only confirm and highlight how little control we actually have over our own information. Our ability to place fraud alerts or stamp "credit freeze" on our credit file are important options and remain a valuable line of defense against fraud. But not if Experian has their way...

Experian claims that fraud alerts were only designed to be used if we think we're in danger of identity theft. Well...who doesn't? Statistics continue to prove that most of us believe we are always at risk -and with good reason!

If Experian would simply change a few of their procedures, I could then consider removing my fraud alerts. Maybe if they would...

*stop selling my information without my permission,
*guarantee to protect my credit file from preying eyes,
*immediately remove fraudulent data once apprised of it, and most importantly
*do all necessary restoration work such as contact creditors, replace credit cards, insurance card, change account numbers, and not sell my credit file until corrected, and;
* reimburse me for any loss of time and expenses incurred if my identity were to be stolen;

The truth is, until Experian and the cra's change their practices, and prove they want to become part of the solution -rather than being a part of the problem, our best line of defense will continue to be taking proactive safeguards to protect our data. Taking reactive steps does little to avoid the impact of fraud.

Shouldn't we be allowed to protect our information before it's compromised? Our information is a valuable commodity of the cra's, and viewed as valuable to hackers and thieves who will continue to find new and innovative ways to steal it!

Shouldn't we be seeking new and innovative ways to protect it?

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