CS Stars, an independent insurance brokerage, has lost 540,000 people’s information.
The article says that the information was on a laptop that was stolen, and the file is password protected. The article suggests that the information would have been more secure had it been encrypted.
An independent insurance brokerage, huh?
Let’s talk about how an insurance brokerage works for a moment.
When you apply for health insurance, unless that insurance is purchased through a large company (which has many potential identity theft repercussions of its own), your information is taken and farmed out to several insurance companies, to see who can offer you the best prices. Let’s say that there are three companies who are fighting for your business as partners of this broker.
How many people have your information now? 4 you say? Only if each of those insurance companies only has one employee. But what if each company has ten employees, or 100 employees? Your information is now accessible by 40 or 400 people. All because you did something simple, like shop for inexpensive health insurance.
Try encrypting those connections.
The article goes on to talk about the CS Stars’ plan for those whose information has been compromised.
At least CS Stars is doing the right thing – albeit after the fact – but they’re doing the right thing, by offering an Identity Theft Insurance plan which offers not only credit monitoring, but also access to fraud resolution specialists.
Here’s what’s different about these 540,000 New Yorkers from the average American – they’ve been put on alert that they are at risk for Identity Theft, and they have a plan for fixing it WHEN (not if), it happens.
If you are an American with a social security number, this is your alert. YOU are at risk for Identity Theft. As we climb towards 100 million pieces of Americans’ personal information being compromised, the likelihood that you will be a victim increases exponentially.
What’s your plan? Is your plan for it not to happen to you? Good luck! Here’s an alernative solution you should consider.