FEMA Potentially Compounds Disaster, Shares Personal Information of 2.3 Million Survivors
A recently released report by the Office of the Inspector General revealed that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) improperly handled the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of at least 2.3 million disaster survivors. Several elements of PII was shared unnecessarily with an outside contractor who managed FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance program. It included names, addresses, and banking information — all of which can be used to commit identity theft and fraud.
Victims of this wrongful data release included survivors of hurricanes Maria and Irma, as well as the 2017 California wildfires. These individuals and families looked to FEMA for assistance in enduring these natural disasters; having to deal with an identity theft incident on top of their already lengthy recovery process could further the emotional and financial hardships they’ve previously faced.
Breached or Not, The Time to Protect Your PII is Now
Whether or not you were exposed by FEMA’s privacy incident, it’s a stark reminder of the likelihood that your personal information has been compromised. Considering the frequency and velocity of today’s data breaches paired with the number of online accounts held by each individual, it’s only a matter of time until your PII falls into the wrong hands.
Here are some resources to safeguard your self and your family from identity theft:
- Password Strength Test
- Data Breach News Summary (Table)
- Monthly ID Theft Protection Newsletter
- 2019 Data Breaches – The Worst So Far
- 9 Tips for 2019 Data Breach Victims (Infographic)
- 7 Tips for Protecting Your Identity (Printable PDF)
For the ultimate in control, trust the best identity theft protection provider to be there to monitor all of your accounts, alert you to suspicious activity, and be there to fully resolve any issue related to you or your family’s identity security.
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