Recently, a friend sent me the following E-mail from Senator Barbara Boxer (D) California...

Dear Friend:

We recently learned of a major data breach at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that may have put the personal information of millions of current and former federal employees at risk.

In the last several years, we have seen similar large-scale breaches at companies like Anthem, Sony and Target that have affected millions of Americans. As a result of this alarming trend, it is more important than ever to take proactive steps to ensure you and your family are protected from identity theft.

Here are some steps you can take today:
  1. Monitor your credit regularly and report any suspicious activity to your financial institution. You can request a free credit report from, or by calling 1-877-322-8228.
  2. If you are worried your account has been compromised, you can set up a fraud alert on your credit profile by calling TransUnion at 1-800-680-7289. This requires creditors to contact you before opening any new lines of credit under your name.
  3. Protect yourself from common attempts to steal your information. Be cautious of unsolicited emails asking for sensitive information like your Social Security Number or banking information. If an email looks suspicious, do not click any of the links or download the attachments. Also remember that federal agencies like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will never request your personal or financial information via email.
  4. Ensure that your computer has the latest software updates and anti-virus protection.
You can find additional tips and other helpful materials on the Federal Trade Commission's website,

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator
Identity Theft and Internet Security have been the subjects of several of our blogs.  It is a wildfire situation, obviously affecting everyone from pauper to government.  It behooves ANYONE who is on line to arm yourself with the facts.  I can honestly tell you, as much as I have researched and learned about Internet Security, there is A LOT I don't know, and every day the new facts I uncover are disarming. If you own a business, you should be even more on alert and aware.  Alcala Consulting is here, 24/7, offering FREE consultations for businesses.  You can always get 24/7 tech support right on our website as well.
Don't keep your head in the clouds...put your I.T. business in the "Cloud" for security sake!!  But in all seriousness, arming yourself with knowledge is the first step.  While no one is completely safe from cyber "Bad Guys", your acquired knowledge can help you activate deterrents that will compel the "Bad Guys" to move to an easier target.