Imagine giving a mortgage company incredibly sensitive personal information required to apply for a loan and then finding out that hackers were allowed to gain access to that information to use in ways that one can only imagine will be fraudulent and harmful. Well, that is precisely what happened in the Guaranteed Rate data security breach.
Between June 9th and October 2nd, 2017, hackers gained access to some of Guaranteed Rate, Inc.'s customers' social security numbers and names. Employees of Guaranteed Rate were targeted in an email phishing scheme, and hackers were able to compromise a limited number of employee email accounts that held sensitive customer data.
Around September 13th, 2017, the company finally took notice of this suspicious activity and began investigating but wasn't able to confirm whose data had been compromised until around January 7th, 2018, leaving the hackers months and months of freedom to do damage. Suppose your information was hacked, and you experienced fraud and identity theft due to this security breach. In that case, our data privacy attorneys are here to help.
What is a data breach?
Data breaches are considered a security incident where confidential personal information is stolen by nefarious individuals looking to exploit the stolen data. The stolen information can be anything from your name and address to highly sensitive information like social security numbers and bank account information. When the data holders discover the information has been viewed by an unauthorized party, that is known as a data breach.
Is a data breach the same as identity theft?
A data breach doesn't automatically mean you're the victim of identity theft. When the hackers use your information to impersonate you for financial gain, then you've entered the frustrating world of identity theft. Criminals can use your information to take out loans, buy goods, and rack up debt. Usually, you realize what has happened only after debt collectors come calling. It can take months to clear up your good name and repair the damage in the actual case of identity theft. Having your personal information exposed is never a comfortable position to be in. Still, not all instances of data exposure result in fraud. However, having your name and social security number stolen would definitely warrant concern.