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Marine Computer Containing Confidential Data Missing

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This past week, I have been posting messages which show that the risks of identity theft can be minimized by simply prioritizing data security. Problems at the United States Department of Energy, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and the United States Department of Homeland Security demonstrate that our government has not yet prioritized data protection. Simple encryption tools, password protection and systematic windows updates minimizes identity theft risks. Moreover, companies and agencies which have a large laptop computer inventory that maintain tracking control systems to oversee this inventory minimize risk of computer and data theft. Unfortunately without these systematic protections in place, identity thieves see simple targets of opportunity at corporations and agencies which do not prioritize data protection and security. Too often it seems as though the consumer and taxpayer are the only real losers when government agencies and corporations do not prioritize data security and as a result, place our confidential sensitive information at risk.

Within the last few days, a laptop computer belonging to the United States Marines located at Camp Pendleton went missing. This time, sensitive confidential data involving 2,400 Marines and their families has possibly been compromised. Hopefully these Marines and family members have not become yet another set of identity theft victims due to the lack of systematic controls.