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ID Theft Consumer Guide



ID Theft in the Information Age: Corporate Date Breaches

In the 21st century, identity theft is the fastest growing type of crime in many nations around the world. Identity theft is so prevalent, because it is the perfect crime for the information age. Indeed, identity theft really is about stealing information -- about the theft of your personal and financial data and information.

When all is said and done, it is so important for you to protect your identity. But, even with that said and understood, even with you taking all steps necessary to protect your personal and financial information, you still may fall victim to identity theft because of corporate and governmental data breaches. Unfortunately, over the course of the past couple of years, stories of corporate data breaches in which massive amounts of personal and financial information belonging to consumers have been commonplace.

Through this article, you are provided with an overview of the problem of identity theft in the 21st century, particularly the unique information age problem of corporate data breaches.


There really are three different types of corporate data breaches that are becoming quite common in this day and age. First, there are actual breaches of corporate (or governmental) date sources. In other words, an outsider gains access to a corporate data bank and nabs personal or financial information that is maintained within those data centers.

Second, when it comes to corporate data breaches, there have been examples of “inside jobs” -- situations in which a person with authorized access to consumer data misappropriates that data for impermissible purposes … identity theft.

Finally, when it comes to corporate data breaches, there have been examples of accidental releases of personal and financial information by corporations and governmental agencies in recent years.



Big Name Breaches

As mentioned, over the course of the past several years there have been numerous examples of corporate and governmental data breaches. There have been corporations that have suffered from breaches of financial and personal data of their customers, including Bank of America. Governmental agencies, including the Veterans Administration in the United States, have fallen victim to data breaches. In addition, entities that collect personal and financial data such as ChoicePoint have been afflicted with sensitive data breaches in recent times.

In the end, with some of the various significant data breaches duly noted, it is important to remember that the personal and financial information of millions of people has been exposed as a result of these and other similar breaches.

In the Event of a Corporate of Governmental Data Breach

While you cannot prevent a corporate or governmental data breach, you can take steps to better protect yourself in the event of such a breach. If you are a client, customer or otherwise affiliated with a corporation, other business of governmental entity that has suffered a data breach, you need to be proactive in your response to the situation. You need to put fraud alerts on your accounts. You need to monitor your credit reports with regularity for a period of time following the breach. In some instances, you may even want to close out old accounts and replace them with new accounts.


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