Posts tagged "Identity Theft Prevention"
Recently, I was asked to do a segment for The Rachael Ray Show that demonstrated very visually how many audience members face immediate identity theft risks. Watching them move across the stage as we exposed two or three common sources of identity theft was remarkable. Once we had experienced the numbers, we ventured into the house of one of Rachael’s audience members to see how to mitigate the risk. Watch the video to see if you would have joined the “at risk” group, or read the transcript below:
Rachael: We had the audience stand back here because we all carry several items on any given day, EVERY given day, that put us at risk. So John, you’re going to weed out our audience so we can all learn in how many areas we are seriously at risk if we have certain items on us, correct?
To this somewhat hopeful cyber security expert, it appears that Mary Jo White, the new chairwoman of the SEC, is interested in making investors’ online security a priority. Will it make you safer? Not without action. Shortly after being officially confirmed in her new role this week, White held a meeting to establish stricter identity theft prevention measures – an initiative that was started back in 2011. Specifically, the measures encouraged businesses to disclose their security vulnerabilities and any history of prior cyber attacks for the purpose of better informing constituents.
White’s initiative was sparked in part by West Virginia Senator John Rockefeller, who has reached out to her to increase efforts in this area. In a letter to White sent this week, Rockefeller urged the SEC to put stronger regulations in place to help enforce cyber security. His statements of concern requesting “formal guidance from the SEC” hit the nail on the head.
One billion people worldwide use Facebook to share the details of their lives with their friends and may be unaware their Facebook Privacy could be compromised. Trouble is, they also might be unintentionally divulging matters they consider private to co-workers, clients and employers. Worse yet, they may be sharing their privacy with marketing companies and even scammers, competitors and identity thieves.
Here are six ways Facebook could be compromising your private information and how to protect yourself:
1. The new Timeline format brings old lapses in judgment back to light. Timeline, introduced in late 2011, makes it easy for people to search back through your old Facebook posts, something that was very difficult to do in the past. That could expose private matters and embarrassing photos that you’ve long since forgotten posting.
Check washing is so simple, you must learn to prevent check fraud
Are check fraud and check washing still relevant in the age of digital payments? If you’re like the average person, chances are you don’t write too many checks anymore. With the convenience of online payment options, nearly universal acceptance of credit and debit cards, and the proliferation of ATMs offering you easy access to money at every turn, why resort to the archaic, labor-intensive method of writing a check?
The simple answer—sometimes we have no other choice! Some places still don’t accept credit cards (Costco if you don’t have an American Express), or they charge an extra fee for them. Some retailers don’t offer online payment options. And frankly, sometimes it’s just an old habit and we haven’t made the effort to find a safer option because we’re stuck in the mindset of “it’s never happened to me” when thinking about check fraud.
How to Stop Check Fraud and Check Washing
Check washing, a highly common form of check fraud, is the practice of removing legitimate check information, especially the “Pay To” name and the amount, and replacing it with data beneficial to the criminal (his own name or a larger amount) through chemical or electronic means. One of the many ways to protect yourself against check fraud is so important that it deserves its very own article.
A foolproof way to protect your checks from being altered, whether by washing or by electronic means, is to use security checks offered by most companies.
Here are some of the features of Deluxe High Security Checks that safeguard you not only against check washing, but other high tech forms of check fraud as well:
- Safety security paper (visible and invisible fluorescent fibers, chemical-sensitive)
It can't be said enough: these days, any of us can become a victim of identity theft, and those in power are even more at risk. Whether they want to or not, many of America's most familiar faces are being forced to realize the reality of what hackers can do.
You heard it from the leader of the free world himself. This week, President Obama told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News that "we should not be surprised" at the abilities of hackers to access our personal data. Still, you have to wonder if he was at all surprised when AnnualCreditReport.com (the credit monitoring site that is a joint venture between Equifax, Experian and TransUnion designed to help consumers like you and me to make sure we aren't the victims of identity theft) revealed the credit reports, Social Security numbers and other pieces of information on many noted public figures, including the First Lady. In a bitter chunk of irony, even the tools we use to protect ourselves against identity theft are being targeted by hackers.
Product Review: Are identity theft services worth it?
Yes, identity theft services can be well worth the investment. Imagine that your Social Security number is scraped off of a government website that has legally published it online. Or it’s stolen out of your tax preparer’s office, scavenged from your trash or skimmed from your iPad as you surf on a free WiFi connection. In most cases, you have no idea that your digital identity has fallen into unethical hands, usually those of organized crime, who replicate and resell it in seconds.
Threats to online security have been coming thick and fast. But a new study shows that CEO's may finally be taking notice. Is that enough?
If there's an upside to the recent rash of hacks and digital subterfuge, it may be that businesses are beginning to see the ugly reality of online privacy exposure. According to the Wall Street Journal, a study by analysts at AIG recently showed that more executives are concerned about breaches than harm to their property. Eighty-five percent of executives polled placed more emphasis on their information and digital reputation than their physical holdings.
Awareness is one thing, but are these executives putting their money where their mouth is?
It appears so. Studies show that there has been a corresponding increase in the amount of money recently spent by retail companies on cyber security measures and experienced anti-fraud experts. It's remarkable what a little bad press (hacking of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Twitter, Evernote) will do to motivate previously complacent companies.
Identity theft prevention is not a one-time solution. You must accumulate layers of privacy and security over time. The following identity theft prevention tips are among those I cover in one of my speeches, Think Like A Spy Crash Course and expand into protecting organizational or corporate data.
- Trust Your Instincts. Most of prevention is common sense.
- When someone asks you to share private information, think – Hogwash! Learn more about establishing a Fraud Reflex.
- Ask aggressive questions to spot a ConJOB: Control, Justify, Options & Benefits. Learn more about exposing a ConJOB.
- Target (or prioritize) your responses & options to protect the most valuable items first.
- Use sophisticated Identity Monitoring software to detect theft before it’s disastrous.
- Review your Free Credit Report 3X per year at www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
- Opt-Out of financial junk mail at www.OptOutPreScreen.com (1.888.567.8688).
- Stop Marketing Phone Calls at www.DoNotCall.gov – remove phone & cell numbers from junk caller lists.