You work really hard to protect your ID. You create strong passwords for all your online accounts. You have a reputable identity theft protection service keeping your ID safe.
So, you'd think major technology companies that make millions of dollars would also keep your ID, and their employees' IDs safe. But that's not always happening.
Another major technology company, Seagate Technology, just fell for a phishing email scam that exposed thousands of its employees' tax records to hackers. An employee handed over W-2 tax forms for all Seagate's current and past employees, including Social Security numbers, plus their salaries and other personal information.
This information can be used by hackers to fraudulently file IRS tax returns to claim your tax refunds. This comes just days after an employee at social media network Snapchat shared payroll information with hackers, when an employee was tricked into think they were opening an email from Snapchat's CEO.
Seagate, which creates computer storage solutions like hard drives and cloud-based storage, confirmed that one of its employees fell for a phishing scam. The email looked like it came from another employee requesting W-2 records.
Seagate confirmed the phishing scam and released an official statement, saying in part: "Seagate Technology learned that the 2015 W-2 tax form information for current and former U.S.-based employees was sent to an unauthorized third party in response to the phishing email scam.
"The information was sent by an employee who believed the phishing email was a legitimate internal company request. When we learned about it, we immediately notified federal authorities who are now actively investigating it. We deeply regret this mistake and we offer our sincerest apologies to everyone affected."
In addition to apologizing to its employees for sharing their tax information with hackers, Seagate is also protecting their employees' IDs with a two-year subscription to an identity theft protection service. "No questions asked," a Seagate representative said.
This is a good reminder that anyone can fall for a phishing email if it comes from the right source or says the right thing. It takes just one mistake for your information to end up in the hands of hackers.