When your personal data goes public
21 November 2007
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to control your personal information at all times. Companies and governments that store personal data sometimes screw up in the worst way:
The British government struggled Wednesday to explain its loss of computer disks containing detailed personal information on 25 million Britons [about 40% of the population], including an unknown number of bank account identifiers, in what analysts described as potentially the most significant privacy breach of the digital era.
You can’t do much when something like this happens. One thing you can do, however, is make sure your passwords are strong.
Experts said the information could allow crimes beyond identity theft. Some people use the name of a child or part of an address as a password on a bank account, so the combination of these details could allow someone to break their code.
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