More Security Fun On Line
A few weeks ago I mentioned the importance of security (especially in Lent), where I said it is important to change your on line passwords more than once (i.e. leaving the initial password you set, and never changing it), and today I received yet another affirmation that my statements are not just the ravings of a paranoid financial blogger.
I have heard in the past two days from Best Buy and the Hilton H-Honors program that their “… database marketing vendor, Epsilon…” has had a data breach and information about me has been taken by nefarious folks of unknown origin. The e-mail(s) go on to explain that the only information taken was my name (my REAL name) and my e-mail addresses (this is evidently supposed to make me feel more at ease).
First let me say WTF! (for those who don’t know that TLA, look it up, that was what I said out loud). Data about me is now in the hands of folks who steal identities and worse, steal money, so no I am not happy, nor am I impressed.
Secondly I am skeptical that this is all the data that they managed to remove from Epsilon’s database of marketing information. My guess is there is plenty of other data collected that may not want to be spoken of, by the companies I do business with directly, but that is only my opinion (for now).
I note that the e-mails from both Best Buy and Hilton are remarkably similar in content and both are adament that no financial information was lost because of this data breach. They seem almost relieved that all this security breach may cause is for me to be inundated with more SPAM and PHISHING e-mails (like this is a consolation prize), which is an odd way to look at things. More SPAM? I am currently getting about 100-200 SPAM messages a day, I cringe to think what more SPAM might look like.
Ironically, the Hilton H-Honors e-mail was actually in my e-mail SPAM folder (so maybe the SPAM folders at my E-mail provider is working better than I thought). Luckily for Hilton I check my SPAM folders sometimes to see if they are being Hyper-vigilant or not.
Thirdly I look forward to finding out what other companies I deal with , that also work with Epsilon. I plan on sending a very terse e-mail to Best Buy and Hilton asking why when I specifically clicked on the “Don’t Give Out My Personal Information to 3rd Parties” box, did they give my personal information out to Epsilon? Yes, Epsilon is their contractor, however, they are not mentioned in the agreement, so I hold Best Buy and Hilton responsible here as well.
Still think that Internet security isn’t that important?
Be secure, be prudent and be safe on line folks, it’s your money they want.