Hartford Financial misplaces tapes with personal data

Warning follows loss of claims center backup tapes

The Hartford Financial Services Group has notified about 237,000 policy holders of a potential compromise of their personal data.

The warning followed the loss of three backup tapes containing the names, addresses, Social Security numbers and driver's license numbers of customers of the company's personnel lines claims center. The tapes were discovered to be missing on September 27.

So far, there is no evidence that the tapes were stolen or that the information has been misused, a company spokeswoman said. Hartford Financial Services has no idea if the tapes were misplaced while in transit to another location or if they went missing inside the company. But the information contained on them could only be read with "the use of sophisticated and expensive equipment," she added.

As a precaution, the company is offering a year's worth of free credit protection services from Equifax, the statement said, The services include credit monitoring, unlimited credit reports and US$20,000 in identity theft protection. Individuals who elect to implement credit freezes on their credit lines will also be eligible for a reimbursement of the costs associated with that freeze, the company said in a statement.

The Hartford breach is similar to scores of others in recent years involving the loss or theft of computers and media containing sensitive personal data. Security analysts have recommended that companies use encryption to mitigate potential data loss in such situations. Many companies that have been reluctant to do so because of cost concerns end up paying significantly more in notification and other costs when a breach occurs, analysts have previously noted.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?