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About 40,000 identities are in the open after a hard drive theft

About 40,000 identities are in the open after a hard drive theft
photo courtesy of shutterstock

Millions of people have had their identities stolen in the past few years due to major cyberattacks against businesses like Target and Home Depot. But, hacking isn't the only thing putting your data at risk. Burglary is also a huge problem, because any common criminal could potentially come away with sensitive information belonging to thousands, if not millions, of people.

On February 13, thieves stole two hard drives belonging to the Indiana State Medical Association while they were being transported to a storage area. The hard drives held nearly 40,000 people's names, addresses, email addresses and dates of birth. Some records may have also included Social Security numbers.

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ISMA's statement claims the data on the drives "cannot be retrieved without special equipment and technical expertise", although it's not clear if that equipment and know-how means anything more than a computer to connect the drives to and the skills to plug them in and mount them.

It's unclear if ISMA actually encrypted the information on the hard drives. If not, the data could just be sitting there, waiting for the thieves to find it.

Next page: Find out how to protect yourself.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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