What Happens To Your Information After a Data Breach?

Data Breach April 2017

Data breaches have become all-too-common amongst retailers, businesses, educational institutions and health care facilities. Last year, 1,093 data breaches led to over 36 million compromised records in the United States, leaving millions of Americans’ personal information exposed. 

The best way you can protect your information from compromise is by taking proactive measures to safeguard it, especially after a data breach. Follow us as we break down what can happen to your information after a data breach, what the law says about notifying you of breached data and how to secure information that has already been compromised.  Continue reading

Combating Tax Identity Theft: The IRS and the Taxpayer

tax identity theft

Tax season, fraud, theft – oh my! 

Tax season is a notoriously stressful time. Between filling out the forms, paying taxes or waiting for refunds, the tax-filing process can seem endless.

What’s more concerning is that tax season is a holiday for identity thieves. Tax fraud and tax identity theft continue to be a significant problem for both the tax administration and American taxpayers alike. Whether it’s through data breaches, phishing emails, scams or simple social engineering tactics, criminals hope to obtain enough of your sensitive information so that they can fraudulently file your taxes before you do.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has made great strides to improve its fraud and identity theft detection methods. Last year, the IRS caught 787,000 confirmed tax identity theft returns from entering its systems. But, fraudsters continue to find ways around these protocols, warranting increased vigilance on both the tax industry and the individual taxpayer. In short, criminals want your tax returns just as much as you do – and they’ll do anything they can to get them. Continue reading

Public Databases Make Information Too Public

Public Databases

The Internet is the world of free information. Thanks to online public databases, people finder websites and social media networks, we have instant access to vast amounts of information at our fingertips. 

Because the Internet is such an open environment, we rely on it to not only make information immediately available, but to also handle our data securely. Personal information can be used to gain automatic access to certain programs, like using your Facebook credentials to play games or connecting your Gmail account to YouTube and other social media platforms. With the Internet boosting convenience and efficiency, some big information security questions remain:

What information of yours is available on the Internet? Where is it available, and to whom? How do applications use your personal information across different platforms? And, most importantly, how can you remove that information from the Internet?  Continue reading