Posts tagged "Protection"
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.
Information is the currency and lifeblood of the modern economy and, unlike the industrial revolution, data doesn’t shut down at dinnertime. As a result, the trend is towards hyper-mobile computing – smartphones and tablets – that connect us to the Internet and a limitless transfusion of information 24-7. It is an addiction that employers encourage because it inevitably means that we are working after hours (scanning emails in bed rather than catching up with our spouse).
In the work we do to change the culture of privacy inside of organizations, we have discovered a dilemma: iPads are not as secure as other forms of computing and are leaking significant amounts of organizational data to corporate spies, data thieves and even competing economies (China, for example, which would dearly love to pirate the recipe for your secret sauce). Do corporations, then, sacrifice security for the sake of efficiency, privacy for the powerful touch screens that offer a jugular of sensitive information?
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.
I became a professional identity theft speaker because my business partner used my identity (and my business’s impeccable 40-year reputation) to embezzle more than a quarter million dollars from our best, most trusting customers. Thanks to drawn-out criminal trials and a seriously impaired lack of attention to my business, I suddenly found myself without a profession.
So I wrote a book about my mistakes, and with a little luck, it led to a speaking career based in first-hand experiences with data theft. The formula works – sharing my failure to protect sensitive information and losing just about everything as a result – my wealth, my business, my job and nearly my family – is a powerful motivator for audiences, both as individuals and professionals. People only understand and act upon the corrosive nature of this crime when they can taste it’s bitterness for themselves. My goal has always been to provide a safe and effective appetizer of data theft that convinces audiences to feed on prevention rather than recovery.
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.
People will do something—including changing their behavior—only if it can be demonstrated that doing so is in their own best interests as defined by their own values.
—Marshall Goldsmith, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
People don’t change bad habits until they have a compelling reason. Too often that compelling reason is the result of a habit’s negative outcome; but the promise of positive rewards resulting from the establishment of good habits can be a strong motivator. In the workplace, aligning responsible information stewardship with personal and professional gain can set the stage for good privacy habits.
Here are 5 steps you can take towards perfecting your own Privacy Habits:
- Tighten up online passwords. Create strong, alphanumeric passwords. Instead of your password being Sunflower make it $uNf(0w3R. Don’t use common password reminders such as your dog’s name, street address, or mother’s maiden name. All of those would be easily uncovered by an identity thief.