The following article is about yet another data breach. The loss and exposure of personal data is one of the reasons all Americans are vulnerable to identity theft and need identity theft protection like that offered by LifeLock.
More than a quarter million Floridians have been placed at an elevated risk of identity theft after The Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation posted their names and Social Security numbers on the Internet. Some of the records go back as far as 2002.
The records were on the Internet for approximately one month, according to an Agency spokesman. They weren’t password protected, encrypted or behind a firewall, all of which are considered elementary procedures in data protection. As a result, anyone with an Internet connection would have been able to view the information.
Fifty minors’ Social Security numbers were among the records. The Agency has not responded to the nonprofit Liberty Coalition’s inquiry as why the Agency had records for these Floridians under the age of eighteen.
The data breach victims haven’t been notified yet, but a spokesman for the Agency said they plan to send letters to them. There has been no mention of whether credit monitoring or identity theft protection services will be provided to the victims.
Even if free credit monitoring is provided, its protection is limited to customer notification after a new account is opened by the thieves. In comparison, LifeLock takes measures to prevent the thieves from using stolen personal information, and from buying, selling or trading it on the Internet.
In a response to questions from Liberty Coalition, the Agency said they “pledge to learn from its mistakes.” However the Agency apparently didn’t learn from an earlier, similar mistake. In 2002 4,624 Floridians’ names and Social Security numbers were posted on the Internet. That data wasn’t password protected, encrypted or behind a firewall, either, and was discovered when one of the victims did a Google search on his own name.
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