(BOSTON, Mass. – May 1, 2008 – IDTheftSecurity.com) Reports of at least three-quarters of a million data records stolen from various organizations surfaced over the past two weeks. This latest round in the relentless march of data loss gave renewed consumers’ reasons to worry about the safety of their financial data in the hands of large institutions, said widely televised and quoted personal security and identity theft expert Robert Siciliano.
"Consumers worldwide continue to lose confidence in institutions entrusted with individuals’ sensitive financial data," said Siciliano. "With every thousand data records lost, organizations lose the psychological bond of trust they’ve forged with the corresponding thousand customers and other stakeholders."
CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com and a member of the Bank Fraud & IT Security Report‘s editorial board, Siciliano leads Fortune 500 companies and their clients in workshops that explore consumer education solutions for security issues. An experienced identity theft speaker and author of "The Safety Minute: 01," he has discussed data security and consumer protection on CNBC, on NBC’s "Today Show," on FOX News, and elsewhere.
Security breaches reported during the latter half of April and occurring at just three organizations led to the loss of more than three quarters of a million unique data records. Another breach resulted in the theft of an additional, undisclosed number of unique data records. The news lent validation, Siciliano observed, to research reported in a recent news release from Bankrate, Inc. indicating that 80 percent of Americans are concerned about identity theft.
- An April 28th update to an earlier report on RTÉ News indicated that the theft of laptop computers from the Bank of Ireland exposed to thieves 30,000 customers’ medical records, bank account details, names, addresses and dates of birth.
- Also on April 28, a vnunet.com reported that a back-up tape belonging to U.K.-based Boots Dental Plan had gone missing from Medisure, the administrating company, on April 3. The loss left the whereabouts of approximately 35,000 customers’ and employees’ data records in question, according to the report.
- On April 22, IDG News Service reported a security breach at LendingTree. The incident, according to the report, exposed customers’ data records to unscrupulous activities by employees of the online mortgage company who may have shared the information with other lenders. Reports as of April 28th indicated that LendingTree had yet to disclose the number of customers affected.
- On April 21, Dark Reading reported the theft of a server and PC computers from the offices of Indiana-based debt collections company Central Collections Bureau leaving the personal data of around 700,000 customers at risk of further foul play. The information lost included addresses, Social Security numbers, and some customers’ medical codes.
"These are only the largest of recent, reported breaches," said Siciliano. "The fact of the matter is that consumers are really in the dark when it comes to knowing just how many of their unique data records are falling prey to thieves. The real tally is likely even higher. Anyone with a credit history or medical history — in other words, everyone — is smart to be concerned."
The YouTube video below shows Siciliano on "FOX Newschannel," where he discusses the recent data security breach at Hannaford Bros. and provides affected consumers with the tips they need to avoid paying for fraudulent charges to their bank accounts and credit accounts. Those wishing to learn how to protect themselves against identity theft may view video of Siciliano at VideoJug.
Identity theft affects us all. Robert Siciliano, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com and member of the Bank Fraud & IT Security Report‘s editorial board, makes it his mission to provide consumer education solutions on identity theft to Fortune 500 companies and their clients.
A leader of personal safety and security seminars nationwide, Siciliano has been featured on "The Today Show," CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, "FOX News," "The Suze Orman Show," "The Montel Williams Show," "Maury Povich," "Sally Jesse Raphael," "The Howard Stern Show," and "Inside Edition." The Privacy Learning Institute features him on its Website. Numerous magazines, print news outlets, and wire services have turned to him, as well, for expert commentary on personal security and identity theft. These include Forbes, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Woman’s Day, Good Housekeeping, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, United Press International, Reuters, and others.
The media are encouraged to get in touch with Siciliano directly: