Few companies notify customers of data breach
By now just about everyone you know has gotten the dreaded data breach letter: “Dear Customer, we regret to inform you we have become aware…” If you haven’t gotten this letter yet, that doesn’t mean your information hasn’t been exposed.
A recent survey of 300 companies by Logica–an information technology security firm—revealed that only 40% of the companies who experienced data breaches notified their customers. Only 50% of the companies notified police or other authorities. Only 30% of them give their employees training on how to prevent or respond to data breaches.
To date, only six states (South Dakota, New Mexico, Missouri, Kentucky, Alabama and Mississippi) have failed to enact laws that require customers be notified when their information has been lost or stolen. And there is as yet no federal law requiring them to do so. Even in the states that require notification, apparently companies still aren’t doing it.
Since January 2005 almost 250 billion records are known to have been lost or stolen. Because, in many instances, the private or public agencies cannot determine how many records have been exposed, the total number is actually much higher.
So, if you can’t trust the people who control your personal and financial information to responsibly protect it, how can you protect yourself from identity theft?
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