Privacy Perils: Ignorance is Not Bliss

October 26, 2018
Firm Publication

After several years of cyberattacks, you may be lulled into thinking large, sophisticated companies have now employed adequate safeguards to prevent disclosure of your confidential information.  Don’t be so sure.  Earlier this month, the Pentagon disclosed that the travel records of at least 30,000 military and civilian personnel – containing personal information and credit card data – was compromised.  Moreover, the breach may have actually occurred months ago, but was just recently discovered.  In a scenario that has played out before, the actual breach apparently occurred at a third party vendor, in this case one that provided a service to Defense Department personnel.

So, just what can you do to protect disclosure of your confidential information?  Candidly, and sadly, sometimes not much.  That said, we have previously advised of actions you can take to freeze your credit, before or after a disclosure.  On a more practical level, you should pay prompt and careful attention to your credit card and bank statements to identify unauthorized charges or withdrawals.  Some card issuers and financial institutions also allow you to sign up for email or text alerts when a charge above a certain threshold is incurred.

Blissful ignorance is still ignorance. “The expectations of life depend on diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.”  – Confucius.

Privacy Perils imageCheck out our series, Privacy Perils, to learn what steps you can take to guard your personal and company data. For more information about this topic and other cyber security concerns, please contact Bob BrewerTony McFarlandElizabeth Warren or a member of our Privacy & Data Security team.