Thursday, December 10, 2015

Standing in the Breach

I guess it was only a matter of time.

I rarely shop at Target and am not even sure what VTech might be. I do go to Homo Depot, but haven't been on Ebay in years, so I figured the risk of having my personal information compromised was less risky than it might be for others.

But two days ago I got a letter in the mail telling me otherwise.

Curses.   (yes. say like Mojo Jojo)

With one of my jobs, I had government security clearance at more than one government agency. To get such access is quite extensive - in length of time and scrutiny.

Let's just say the government know everything about my finances, education, car buying history, overdue book fees and my neighbors. Oh yes, they needed to know about neighbors and interviewed some of them about me.

I totally got it though. The risk of passing along information (not that I had any!) or someone thinking you had any, put you at risk - as a suspect or a victim.

So when government files were hacked in June (!!!) - 21 MILLION of them - for government workers or contractors (me), my ears pricked up, but after hearing nothing, I kind of assumed I was in the clear.

Until two days ago............

You can see the letter from the Office of Personnel Management. It's not a scam, though they urge folks to type in the URL and not do a search, as it might take you to a phony site. They provided me a 25 digit PIN to access free credit reports and other such things to see if anything has been compromised.

So far, so good.

And I get three more years of free access reporting. I'll just need to remember to do a weekly or monthly check, I suppose......for the next 156 weeks.

My rub is - besides the breach - the length of time from the event to the notification. Granted, 21.5 million got hacked, but I'm not sure out of how many employees / contractors. And I guess someone had to sift through all those to find the 21.5 million.  Then they had to sort our 300,000 deceased and pass that information along to their dependents.

But still.........six months? And, a former co-worker got his last week and his husband got his a week prior to that. Mind you, the husband got it because his SSN was on the co-worker's application. And here we are and 710 has yet to receive his, though I now am sure it is coming.

I should mention that this former co-worker lives a mile away, so I can't explain the delay in me getting mine. But again, 21.5 MM of these had to go out.


Song by:  Jackson Browne


anne marie in philly said...

I was a federal guvmint contractor 1979-1999 (no clearance required). I have not gotten this letter. hmmmmmm...

Morty said...

This is your first breach? Do you live in a cave? We've paid the annual fee for Experian the last several years for peace of mind. We got it free for the first couple also. They send a monthly email indicating no suspicious activity (so far), and when we open a new account, they alert us immediately.

Morty said...

Oh, and that Rolling Stone graphic music still plays every time I open this :)