Posts tagged "Workplace ID Theft"
Have you experienced that clutch of fear that makes your heart skip a beat when you all of a sudden discover your wallet is missing? Your first reaction might be a cuss word for carrying all that critical information in the first place. Your second is to try to slow your mind as it frantically scans for solutions. Knowing what to do if you lose vital information and knowing your rights if you become a victim of identity theft will save you time, money and a ton of stress.
A consumer survey conducted by the Federal Trade Commission reveals, in a new report, that many identity theft victims do not understand their rights. Following is a summary of what you should know if you become the unfortunate victim of identity theft.
Carrying multiple personal devices is a pain and, yet, the fear of giving away critical company data is a nightmare.
For most of us, being connected equals being productive. However, this simple equation becomes complex when one has to juggle personal devices with those issued by our employers. Paramount in an employer’s mind is the protection of the company’s critical and confidential business data but they don’t want to alienate employees by being too restrictive on using their personal smartphones and tablets.
Recent research has found that nearly three out of four adults don’t protect their smartphones with security software and these same people often use their devices to access social media and websites that attract cybercrooks. Poorly-secured devices can be easily accessed by hackers who are becoming evermore sophisticated and ferocious.
Huzzah! The holiday party season has officially begun! It is my favorite time of year because I try to take a few weeks off of the professional speaking circuit to slow down to a normal pace. Over the coming weeks, all of the Whos in Whoville gather to celebrate the communities to which we all belong. Whether it is a neighborhood party, a work celebration or an association shindig (okay, I’m starting to use words that my parents use), it is a great time to honor our friendships, colleagues and causes.
Unfortunately, the abundance of the season attracts malcontents who try to take advantage of our happiness and busy-ness. I call this the Grinch Effect: stealing from others while they are lost in a brief moment of joy. Like the Grinch pilfering the last stocking from the fireplace, identity thieves use our distraction to pluck pieces of private data from our festive homes. Enough already! If you are hosting a holiday party (either at your home or in your office), here are some tips on protecting your identity to foster holiday serenity:
Latest Identity Theft Trend is Stealing Your Business’s Identity to Falsify Accounts
In the past two weeks, I have been contacted separately by two local business owners to share how their business identity has been stolen and used to set up accounts with various companies on which thousands of dollars are charged and they (the actual owners) are left to pay the bills. There are no identity theft statistics on this type of crime, but I am certain that it is just coming onto the trend radar. In further proof that this is becoming a major problem for corporations, the Denver Post ran an article this morning titled “Corporate ID Thieves Mining the Store“.
Here’s how this incredibly easy form of business identity theft works:
Mobile Data Theft
Technology is the focal point of data breach and workplace identity theft because corporations create, transmit, and store so many pieces of information digitally that it becomes a highly attractive target. This book is not intended to address the complex maze that larger organizations face in protecting their technological and digital assets. Rather, the purpose of this book is to begin to familiarize business employees, executives, and vendors with the various security issues facing them.
The task, then, is to develop a capable team (internal and external) to address these issues. In my experience, the following technology-related issues pose the greatest data-loss threats inside organizations:
- Laptop Theft: According to the Ponemon Institute, 36 percent of reported breaches are due to a lost or stolen laptop.
- Mobile Data Theft: Thumb drives, CDs, DVDs, tape backups, smart phones
- Malware: Software that infects corporate systems, allowing criminals inside these networks
Were you surprised the other day when I said that your children are highly attractive targets of identity thieves because they have untouched and unblemished credit records? Let me tell you just how easy it happens.
How Does It Happen?
All an identity thief needs to ruin your child’s bright financial future is her name and Social Security Number.
“Shouldn’t my child’s age show up on any credit background check, shouldn’t the merchant recognize that the person in front of them buying a car on credit isn’t seven years old?” you ask.
Yes, it should, but the people screening the credit report rarely give it the time and care necessary to detect fraud.
The following is an excerpt from John’s latest book Privacy Means Profit. To learn more and to purchase the book, visit our website www.ThinkLikeASpy.com.
For businesses, shredding is low-hanging fruit (one of the easiest sources of data breach to eliminate). But businesses are so often focused on electronic forms of data breach that they fail to heed the following statistics highlighted in a recent Ponemon Institute study conducted for the Alliance for Secure Business Information:
- More than 50 percent of sensitive business data is still stored on paper documents.
- Forty-nine percent of data breaches reported in the survey were the result of paper documents.
- Sixty percent of businesses admitted that they didn’t provide the proper tools (e.g., shredders) to safely discard documents that were no longer needed.
- The average data breach recovery cost according to this survey was $6.3 million.
Who cares about document shredders in a digital world? You should. We were supposed to have gone paperless by now, right? Rubbish. Paper rubbish, in fact.
You and I both know that we use as much paper as ever. We sign up for electronic statements and then print and file them, along with important emails, financial documents, etc. Paper documents are more plentiful than ever, and they pose a significant risk of workplace identity theft and data breach.
According to a recent study conducted by the ASBI: 80% of large organizations surveyed indicated that they had experienced one or more data breaches over the previous 12 months. 49% of those breaches involved the loss or theft of paper documents. The average breach recovery cost $7.2 Million!
Many businesses fail to realize is that paper documents pose just as much of a risk to an organization as electronic documents.
Identity theft speaker John Sileo shares his tax-time identity theft prevention tips.
This past week, I have been helping a gentleman recover from the theft of all of his tax records. Before it is all over, this gentleman will have spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars simply preventing any further fraudulent use of his identity. That doesn’t account for any damages already done to his finances, criminal record, medical records or social security benefits. There is very little that is more damaging and dangerous to your identity than losing your tax records. After all, tax records generally contain the most sensitive personally identifying information that you own, including Social Security Numbers (for you, your spouse and maybe even your kids), names, addresses, employers, net worth, etc. Because of this high concentration of sensitive data, tax time is like an all-you-can-eat buffet for identity thieves. Here are some of the dishes on which they greedily feed: