Security Awareness Alert

Identity theft continues to be a global threat for every individual, and protecting personal information is a vital component for security awareness. In 2013 there were 13.1 million victims of identity theft according to a report done by Javelin Strategy & Research. This is an increase of 500,000 from 2012. Furthermore, in America, every two seconds an individual becomes a victim of identity theft (source).

Identity theft transpires when someone uses your personal information to perpetrate a fraud or carry out other illegal activity. Attackers gather information from various venues, using many tactics to lure information directly from individuals. You need to perceive this security threat, implement safety best practices and limit the disclosure of personally identifiable information.
Where do attackers gather the information for Identity Theft?

Attackers locate information from a variety of sources, and this list provides examples to be aware of:

  • Unsecured documents: Always make sure any paperwork with your information is locked up and secured. Limit the information you provide on medical, financial and other paperwork to the required amount. Even though an organization is requesting your information, it isn’t always required (for example a specific identification number such as a social security number). If you wonder why the organization would need such information, ask them what the purpose is before offering it. Verify that these documents will be stored securely and only be used for the purposes stated.
  • Discarded documents: Always shred documents with any personal or professional information on them.
  • Email and Other Online Accounts: Password secure, changing the password regularly, all of your accounts with any personal or organizational information.
  • Social Media: Always set your social sites to “private” (only approved friends can view your information) and always require authentication of those following you. Do not list personal information in your profile such as your anniversary date, birthdate, childrens’ names, or nicknames.
  • Mobile Device Breaches: Lock all mobile devices and require password authentication every time you want to check email, professional information, social sites and more.

For more information on Security Awareness Training and educating your workforce on best practices, click here.