It could be on someone’s laptop computer.
And it could have been your 401(k) plan’s employee information and financial data as it was for one company whose 401(k) information was on a laptop owned by a Savannah accounting firm that was stolen earlier this month.
In fact, more than 600,000 laptops are stolen every year, totaling about $720 million in hardware losses, according to 2003 figures from computer insurer Safeware, The Insurance Agency Inc. And the FBI says that 97% of stolen laptops are never recovered.
But the damage is not just the hardware losses. It’s the potential for identity theft. 401(k) records generally have it all: employee names, addresses, dates of birth, dates of hire, Social Security number, and account balances.
And who has access to those records? It could be anyone at the plan sponsor or the service providers that "touch" the 401(k) plan.
Plan sponsors and other fiduciaries have a lot to be concerned about these days. Add one more item to the list.
Tom Fragala’s article on his Truston Identity Theft Blog, "Top 10 Ways To Protect Yourself From Laptop Theft" may help.