Do’s to avoid damage by Data Breach

December 6th, 2013

Have you received any email from an online company informing you that your account has been hacked and that your personal information has been lost in a data breach?

If your answer is yes then you’re not alone. In the past two years, LinkedIn and eHarmony have suffered data breaches that together exposed more than 80 million accounts.

If you’re among the millions of consumers who may have been exposed by a data breach, here are some do’s for you:

  1. Make a note of exactly what kind of information was lost in the data breach, and how it was protected. Names and physical addresses are the least sensitive pieces of information, email addresses and account passwords are more sensitive, Social Security numbersand credit-card numbers are the most sensitive and the most valuable to identity thieves. The company suffering the breach may tell you that even though email passwords or credit-card numbers were lost, they were encrypted and hence safe.
  2. Change the password on your account with the affected company right away, if the company hasn’t already done so for you.  If you use the same password for accounts with other companies, change those as well.
  3. Contact your bank and your credit-card issuers, explain that your accounts are at risk of fraud and ask them to alert you immediately if they detect suspicious activity on your accounts. Professional credit-card thieves will try to “bust out” stolen card numbers with many purchases in a matter of hours, often on weekends when banks are not fully staffed.
  4. Ask your country’s major consumer credit-reporting bureaus to place a fraud alert on your name. This way, if anyone tries to steal your financial identity for example, by trying to open a credit-card account in your name you will get to know.

If you’re a U.S. resident, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission to create an identity-theft affidavit, and then file a report with your local police force. Make sure you document each phone call made, and each email message and letter sent, during your efforts.

Get your personal as well as office laptops encrypted by Alertsec

Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

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Seton McCarthy Clinic: Laptop stolen

October 23rd, 2013

A laptop was stolen from a Southeast Austin medical clinic, it had thousands of patients’ personal information. Now the hospital is doing damage control to make sure their patients don’t become victims of identity theft.

The laptop was stolen from the Seton McCarthy Clinic, as told by the Seton Healthcare Family. The clinic is located at 2811 E. Second St.

According to a press release from Seton, its investigation determined that the stolen laptop included demographic information about patients seen at Seton McCarthy, Seton Topfer and Seton Kozmetsky community health centers and the Seton Total Health Partners program.

“Obviously the more information exposed the greater the risk. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the U.S. and globally, and it happens on a daily basis. So many people put information on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, that even if an identity thief gets a small amount of information, they can go on to the Web and underground chat rooms and engineer the rest of the identity.” said Joe Ross, president and co-founder of identity protection company CSID.

The laptop did not have encryption software installed as required by Seton policy due to a missed technology glitch during installation, said Saton.

A letter was sent out to all patients who were at risk more than two weeks after the laptop went missing. Information is also available on Seton’s website,

Patients who receive notification letters and have questions can telephone, toll-free, (855) 724-2743.

Ross further said “We’ll monitor your credit file. We’ll alert you if there are any changes in your credit. They’re offering criminal or court record monitoring to alert you if someone has used your identity to commit a crime”.

While hospital officials don’t believe someone took the laptop with the goal of stealing identities, they’re playing it safe just in case.

Austin police are handling the case but say they have exhausted all leads and have suspended the case for now. Officials with Seton Healthcare say they have enhanced security at all facilities and so far no patients have come forward with any reports of identity theft.

Alertsec strengthens security

Alertsec has created a web based encryption service that radically simplifies deployment and management of PC encryption by using industry leading Check Point Full Disk Encryption (former Pointsec) software.

Organizations, especially corporate giants, have to have an information security policy in place that proves they have taken necessary steps and measures to safeguard the information they gathered. If these policies are not adhered to, the regulators may prosecute.

Alertsec Xpress is used by organizations that have recognized the need to protect their information. Customers range from single-user sole traders and consultants to multinational companies with a large number of offices around the globe. Over 4 million users worldwide use Alertsec Xpress’s Check Point Full Disk Encryption.

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