This column focuses extensively on proactive risk management in many aspects of personal and business life. Topics addressed include cybersecurity 1, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin 2, tax season fraud 3, holiday scams 4, and business operations resilience 5.
One of the largest exposures of personal data was the 2017 Equifax data breach. 6 In that instance the records of 143 million Americans was exposed. From another perspective, that related to approximately 44% of the U.S. population).
Well, Hold Onto Your Hat!
In June this year, reports emerged that a Florida marketing company and data broker exposed approximately 340 million individual personal and business records (equating to about 2 terabytes of data) on a publicly available server. 7 (As of the date this piece is being written, there are approximately 328 million people in the United State. 8 ) Examples of information available included home addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, children, and personal interests. The leak does not yet appear to include credit card or Social Security information.
The exposure of one’s personal and business data is, frankly, scary. The possibility that unknown actors can know one’s life details – and then sell that information in an open and largely uncontrollable market – involuntarily removes one’s personal sovereignty.
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So, what can be done? The “Pandora’s Box” has been opened (again), and the data is now “out there” for the world. Firstly, one should routinely monitor their bank, credit, and social media accounts. Secondly, one should regularly update their logins and passwords, antivirus, malware, operating systems, and other protections across all digital platforms used; for example, automatic updates can be implemented to make that function second nature. Thirdly, one can now obtain personal identity protection insurance in case “the genie does escape the bottle”.
1 See Cybersecurity blogs
2 See Cryptocurrency blogs
3 See Tax season fraud blogs
4 See Holiday scam blogs
5 See Business operations resilience blogs
6 See Equifax blogs
7 See, for example, https://www.wired.com/story/exactis-database-leak-340-million-records/ and https://www.cnet.com/news/exactis-340-million-people-may-have-been-exposed-in-bigger-breach-than-equifax/
8 For an intriguing tool, visit the Census Bureau’s U.S. and World Population Clock, https://www.census.gov/popclock/.
9 Checklist blogs
– For more information, call Philip N. Kabler of the Gainesville, FL office of Bogin, Munns & Munns at 352.332.7688, where he practices in the areas of business, banking, real estate, and equine law. He has taught business and real estate law courses at the University of Florida Levin College of Law and Warrington College of Business Administration. And is now the President-Elect of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association.
NOTICE: The article above is not intended to serve as legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such. It is offered only as general information. You should consult with a duly licensed attorney regarding your Florida legal matter, as every situation is unique. Please know that merely reading this article, subscribing to this blog, or otherwise contacting Bogin, Munns & Munns does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Should you seek legal representation from Bogin, Munns & Munns, any such representation must first be agreed to by the firm and confirmed in a written agreement.