Identity theft victim no. 52,000,001

No matter what lengths you go to, sometimes it's impossible to prevent identity theft. Countrywide recently disclosed that 2 million of its mortgage customers may have had their identities stolen - one of which was likely me.

Now, I've always been very paranoid about who does and doesn't get what from me, with the perhaps-naive hope that this would at least mitigate the risk. I consider myself to be well educated on the topic. But in the back of my mind, I always knew I was at risk - after all, I worked at a financial institution for years. I saw just how secure it was, and by proxy the data of its customers.

When companies such as these - whose data helps define our identities - can't secure their systems, absolutely anyone can be a victim. This is why stronger legislation and repercussions are necessary for violations: they are the only thing that will force companies' hands in taking these issues, which the public is utterly defenseless on, seriously.

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