The headlines are enough to make you swear off eBay and lock your wallet in a safe-deposit box. Supposedly trustworthy companies like LexisNexis, Time Warner, ChoicePoint, and Wells Fargo, admit that the records of their customers or employees have fallen into the wrong hands.
In one case, thieves break into a Midwest office of American International Group and steal a computer server containing personal data on 930,000 employees of companies seeking medical coverage. And in the Big Kahuna of identity theft, a laptop containing Social Security numbers and other sensitive information for nearly 29 million active and former military personnel is stolen from a Veterans´ Affairs Dept. staffer´s home in suburban Maryland.
All told, as many as 88 million Americans — more than one in four — had digital data exposed in the past 18 months. With each report, the feeling of helplessness grows. As George Anderson, a 74-year-old U.S. Navy vet and potential victim of the VA caper, puts it: “Here we go again.”Read Full Story