Tag Archives: Robert Mullen

Take Control

Robert S Muller

For it is no longer a question of “if,” but “when” and “how often.” I am convinced there are only two types of companies: those that have been hacked and those that will be. And even they are converging into one category: companies that have been hacked and will be hacked again.

Robert S. Muller, III, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation,
RSA Cyber Security Conference, March 1, 2012

Fedral Bureau of Investigation


The remarks by FBI Director Mueller lead most to believe we are hopeless in our quest to protect our personal information. If the best-financed and managed companies in the world are helpless to prevent data breaches, then what chances do ordinary citizens have in protecting our identities? – our efforts are seemingly futile.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

This is a system we collectively created; thus, we can collectively fix it. It starts with personal accountability. StopDataBreaches.org’s Petition (hyperlink to Petition page) is a fantastic first step, but don’t let your efforts stop there.

Contact your Congresspeople.

Write a letter or make a call to your Congresspeople. They need to understand the gridlock in Congress is not acceptable regarding the security of our most valuable asset: our identities. Consistent communication will force them into action.

Work with companies that have responsible data security policies.

Conduct research and ask questions – this applies to companies of all sizes from your dentist to your bank. How will they protect your information? How do they use it? Who will have access to your information? What happens if your information is compromised: will you be notified? when will you be notified? what post breach protections will they offer? A few questions at the beginning of the relationship prevents considerable future pain.

Discuss with friends, family and neighbors.

Most everyone is aware of the dire situation, but they feel helpless. Let them know what they can do to take ownership in the issue and that there are resources to support them. A community discussion is the impetus to change.

Don’t allow yourself to become an identity theft victim.

Your information has already been compromised and consequently your identity has also already been stolen. However, you can deploy simple measures to minimize the likelihood of victimization. Set a fraud alert on your credit report every 90 days and be cognizant of identity theft warning signs. Be suspect of identity theft companies: make certain they specifically offer data breach protection; understand credit monitoring merely informs you that your identity has been stolen but it does not prevent it from being stolen; and understand your participation is necessary if your ultimate goal is to prevent victimization.

We can stop data breaches, but you must Take Control !