Is An Ounce Of Damage Limitation Worth A Pound Of Prevention?
from the nothing-to-lose dept
It should come as little surprise to anybody with an email address that home computer users are still being targeted by hackers, but they’re increasingly going after financial-services companies too. The steady pace of phishing and other attempts to steal users’ personal information, coupled with similar attacks on employees of banks and other companies designed to give hackers access to corporate networks, could help serve to undermine consumer confidence in online financial transactions and services — a worrying possibility for banks and online retailers. Given the proliferation of data leaks as well as the growth in phishing, it’s understandable why some consumers would think that companies don’t take security very seriously. There seems to be growing resignation that everybody will, at some point, be affected by identity theft — a feeling reinforced by the news that nearly 94 million personal records have been lost in the US over the last couple of years. Many measures, like identity theft insurance, now look to limit the damage caused by identity theft, rather than prevent it. Since many companies appear unable to stop or uninterested in stopping the loss of consumers’ data, and many people apparently can’t or won’t do much to protect themselves from phishing and other attacks, perhaps working to minimize the damage caused by identity theft is a good strategy to pursue alongside trying to prevent it. Instead of keeping identity theft as such a worthwhile crime, make it a pointless activity that doesn’t pay off for criminals. This isn’t a perfect solution, as it will likely just make the criminals move on to some other lucrative activity, but if prevention continues to prove ineffective, it could be worthwhile.