Why Did the IRS pay Equifax $7.25 Million to Help Prevent Fraud?
It’ s hard to believe the IRS will give Equifax $7.25 million to verify taxpayer identities and help prevent fraud under a no-bid contract. What were they thinking? Alas, the IRS wasn’t thinking because if it was, the agency would have realized that rewarding Equifax after hackers made off with sensitive personal information of more than 140 million Americans is rewarding bad behavior. This creates a moral hazard dilemma whereby an organization feels free to repeat the behavior since there are no consequences.
At least Congress is investigating the hacking incident, although if you expect them to do anything constructive, then I have some swamp land in New Jersey I’d like to sell to you. This raises the question whether our government can, in fact, protect us against more intrusive forms of hacking. You’d have to be a naïve person to think so given the allegations of hacking in our 2016 elections.
Now comes a report that Kaspersky Lab may have participated in a Russian hack of a NSA contractor. Apparently, the contractor’s use of Kaspersky’s antivirus software “alerted Russian hackers to the presence of files that may have been taken from the NSA.” Once the machine was in their sights, the Russian hackers infiltrated it and obtained a significant amount of data, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Cybersecurity is a real problem today and is likely to get worse over time. Hackers and other evil-doers care less about the ethics of their practices and more about wreaking havoc on others by stealing their personal, and many times sensitive data.
Since my blog provides workplace advice, here are a few things you can do to keep your computer safe from hackers and viruses identified in a Miami Herald article.
- Use anti-virus software and keep it up to date,
- Don’t open emails or attachments from unknown sources.
- Use hard-to-guess passwords and change them frequently.
- Disconnect your computer from the Internet when not in use.
- Check your security on a regular basis and run scans.
- Back up your computer data regularly.
It’s frustrating for all of us today to think we must take measures to protect ourselves from hackers who, we know, can create unspeakable breaches of our privacy. Privacy rights should be a given in a society like ours. However, we’ve passed the point of no return where others play by The Golden Rule.