December 27, 2017

Preventing Identity Theft

Did you know that a record 15.4 million consumers – or 1 in every 16 adults – suffered some kind of identity theft in 2016?1

From using card skimmers and dumpster diving to creating bogus websites and emails, fraudsters are becoming more creative in how they steal personal information. It is essential that you do whatever it takes to protect your confidential information.

Identity Theft Prevention Tips

    • Limit the number of credit/debit cards and personal ID that you carry.
    • Keep track of credit reports, and report any problems right away.
    • Lock away personal documents at home and in the workplace.
    • Use credit cards (not debit) when shopping online – they are better protected in case of fraud.
    • Keep an eye on how clerks swipe credit and debit cards. Examine point-of-sale devices and ATM machines for tampering.
    • Create a culture of security awareness in the workplace. Support information security in employee communications and in on-going training of current threats and best practices. For example, never engage with phishing emails or texts and limit the amount of personal information posted to social media websites.
    • Embed security-driven processes and habits into the workplace with policies such as a Clean Desk Policy.

    1. 2017 Identity Fraud Study, Javelin Strategy & Research

    • Create strong passwords using a combination of upper and lower case letters, special characters, and numbers.
    • Shred confidential documents that are no longer needed. In the workplace, partner with a professional service that provides a secure chain of custody and locked consoles for storing documents that need to be destroyed.
    • Always shred before recycling, and never put intact confidential documents into open recycling bins or garbage cans. Implement a Shred-it All Policy so that all documents are shredded, and the risk of human error is reduced. Sometimes confidential information is overlooked and not destroyed including mailing labels, junk mail such as pre-approved credit card applications, old tax documents, etc.
    • Protect hard drives with up-to-date safeguards including firewalls, anti-virus and malware software, password protection and encrypted data. Physically destroy hard drives and e-media when they are no longer needed.

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