Army National Guard shows how much it cares about 131,000 identities…
A busy week in the world of data loss, with the report from the Army National Guard Leaders that a personal laptop containing the records of 131,000 former and current guard members was stolen from a contractor on 27th July 2009. The information included the usual culprits – Name, Address, Social Security Number etc.
What this information was doing on a contractors personal device, and not locked up and restricted is undisclosed, but the important thing is that the Army Guard is showing it’s eagerness to resolve the situation and protect its members.
The Army Guard are achieving this by:
- Mailing each person affected (USPS bulk rates indicate this is around $22,500 depending on barcoding)
- Setting up a web site to explain the issue (http://www.ng.mil/features/identity/default.aspx)
- Setting up a phone hotline to give up-to-date news on the matter (1-877-481-4957 7am-11pm EST, Mon-Fri)
Hang on – where’s the bit about free identity theft recovery, compensation etc?
Not uncommonly, it’s missing – it seems nowadays that these breaches have become so common, that if indeed you become a victim of identity theft due to one, or even if you are at risk, it’s up to YOU to do all the grunt work of keeping check on your accounts and your credit scores, and it’s also up to YOU to do all the work of fixing any problems if they occur.
The Army Guard site has some good advice, for example:
You should monitor your accounts and bank statements each month, and check your credit report on a regular basis. You should also stay alert for the signs of identity theft, like:
Accounts you didn’t open and debts on your accounts that you can’t explain.
Fraudulent or inaccurate information on your credit reports, including accounts and personal information, like your Social Security number, address(es), name or initials, and employers.
Continue to check your credit reports periodically, especially for the first year after you discover the identity theft.
But once again, the responsibility seems to lie with the member to detect and resolve any issues – You’re on your own dear Army Guard member. As we would say in England, “Here’s some links and a phone number, now off you trot..”
I bet you feel the love eh?…