If the ecommerce site you frequent suddenly announces their database was cracked, and thieves took off with you credit card information, you can keep the warm fuzzies because you are not alone. Huh?
Bruce Schneier suggests that way too many pieces of identifying information are being stolen already, and the chances of you actually getting hit with a financial fraud are about 1 in 1000.
I am not going to argue with Bruce on the point – he is a better at math than I’ll ever be. But it does tell me this:
1) Once you get notice of such a breach, taking quick action by changing account numbers should reduce your chances to 0 in 1000;
2) Notices of such breaches when they happen, not weeks or months later, should be the law of the land; and
3) If you Social Security number is snatched, government bureaucracy assures that there is nothing you can do. Sorry.