Recently, Tyrone Lee and Anthony Davis were convicted of charges related to an identity theft ring responsible for the theft of 850 thousand dollars. They will be sentenced on April 2nd. The scam ran from July of 2010 until June of 2014 and the key element of their criminal enterprise was that they were supplied with the names, Social Security numbers and bank account numbers of hundred of bank customers by three rogue bank tellers with access to all of this information. Although many companies are going great lengths to increase the security of their data from attacks from outside of their companies, too many companies are not doing enough to protect the security of their data from people inside of the company. So what does this mean to you? It means, as I have said many times, that you are only as secure as the places that hold your information and assets with the weakest security.
So what should you do?
A good first step is to ask every company with which you do business, what they do to protect your data from both outside hacks and insider theft. Hopefully, they have good security implemented. But no security system is perfect and so it is up to all of us to monitor all of your financial accounts including bank accounts, brokerage accounts and credit card accounts often to note any indications of irregularity. The sooner you find a data breach, the easier it is to fix.