Posts tagged "Prevention"
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.
On the surface, social networking is like a worldwide cocktail party—full of new friends, fascinating places and tasty apps. Resisting the urge to drink from the endless fountain of information is nearly impossible because everyone else is doing it—connecting is often advantageous for professional reasons, it’s trendy and, unchecked, it can be dangerous.
Beneath the surface of the social networking cocktail party lives a painful data-exposure hangover for the average business. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are now the preferred tool for malware delivery, phishing, and “friends-in-distress” scams while more business oriented sites, like LinkedIn, allow for easy corporate espionage and the manipulation of your employees.
To avoid the cocktail party altogether is both impractical and naïve—the benefits of social networking outweigh the dangers—but applying discretion and wisdom to your social strategy makes for smart business. Follow these 7 Security Secrets of Social Networking to begin locking down your sensitive data.
Freezing your credit is the number one way to protect against financial identity theft. If everyone in the country applied for a Credit Freeze, identity thieves would quickly be out of business. At least, a major part of their business. Take 30 minutes and lower your chances of identity theft drastically (see the online Freeze links at the bottom of this post).
To go directly to placing a security freeze on your 3 bureau accounts, page down to the bottom section.
Every time you establish new credit (e.g., open up a new credit card, store account or bank account, finance a car or home loan, etc.), an entry is created in your credit file which is maintained by companies like Experian, Equifax and TransUnion (listed below). The trouble is, with your name, address and social security number, an identity thief can pretend to be you and can establish credit (i.e., spend your net worth) in your name.
College is the perfect period of life to begin sound financial practices including protecting privacy. Not only are college students vulnerable, but they are impressionable and well positioned to learn strong habits that will last them a lifetime. As students launch into independence, we, as parents, hope to give them the best tools possible to insure a bright future. One of the most vital tools is to establish healthy habits that will guard their financial and personal identities for the rest of their lives. People ages 18 -24 are the least able to spot identity theft according to the BBB. That age group needed more than four months to realize someone had damaged their credit history or used their identity. By taking a few precautions, a young adult can avoid the crushing job of trying to recover from having given away the keys to their financial future, which is especially overwhelming while navigating life away from home for the first time.
In the first part of this article series, we discussed why it is so important to protect your business data, including the first two steps in the protection process. Once you have resolved the underlying human issues behind data theft, the remaining five steps will help you begin protecting the technological weaknesses common to many businesses.
- Start with the humans.
- Immunize against social engineering.
Everybody wants your data. Why? Because it’s profitable, it’s relatively easy to access and the resulting crime is almost impossible to trace. Take, for example, Sony PlayStation Network, Citigroup, Epsilon, RSA, Lockheed and several other businesses that have watched helplessly in the past months as more than 100 million customer records have been breached, ringing up billions in recovery costs and reputation damage. You have so much to lose.
To scammers, your employees’ Facebook profiles are like a user’s manual about how to manipulate their trust and steal your intellectual property. To competitors, your business is one poorly secured smartphone from handing over the recipe to your secret sauce. And to the data spies sitting near you at Starbucks, you are one unencrypted wireless connection away from wishing you had taken the steps in this two-part article.
This morning, I delivered a fraud training speech in Beverly Hills. As you can imagine, the famous and the wealthy tend to suffer more than the average person from information overexposure and fraud. They are, after all, public figures, worth a great deal, and the focus of over-zealous fans and media. The rich and famous are the perfect storm for information abuse, and we have much to learn from the way they protect their privacy. Dishonest people want to be them, at least long enough to drain their sizable resources, and their family and friends aren’t often far behind. Identity theft and other types of fraud, unfortunately, allow this fantasy to become a reality in the hands of a clever impostor.
The rich and famous are the perfect storm for information abuse, and we have much to learn from the way the protect their privacy.
Guest Blogger: Kathleen Keelan, Prevention Consultants, LLC
I have a hard time telling the parents of a cyber-bullied student that their school “has a policy.” I have a hard time explaining to a child that even though they feel like their whole existence is being shattered every day, all day and all night, that their school district really does care about them. It’s hard to explain to a cyber-bullied student and their parents that the school truly cares that they feel safe.
This I know for sure: the policy is only as good as the people who enforce it.
School officials are scrambling right now due to the “epidemic” of suicides from cyber bullying. Law enforcement is scrambling right now to define their role in this growing phenomenon. The National Crime Prevention Council is happy that physical bullying amongst children has declined. However, the rate of cyber bullying is increasing at an alarming rate. Right now the NCPS found that among teenagers, more than 43% are victims of cyber bullying.
You and your business are worth a lot of money, whether your bank accounts show it or not. The goldmine lies in your data, and everyone wants it. Competitors want to hire the employee you just fired for the thumb drive full of confidential files they smuggled out. Data thieves salivate over your Facebook profile, which provides as a “how to” guide for exploiting your trust. Cyber criminals are digitally sniffing the wireless connection you use at Starbucks to make bank transfers and send “confidential” emails.
Every business is under assault by forces that want access to your valuable data: identity records, customer databases, employee files, intellectual property, and ultimately, your net worth. Research is screaming at us—more than 80% of businesses surveyed have already experienced at least one breach (average recovery cost: $6.75 million) and have no idea of how to stop a repeat performance. These are clear, profit-driven reasons to care about who controls your data.