Did you know that in the United States there is an identity fraud victim every two seconds?
In fact, the Federal Trade Commission ranks the top consumer complaints made in the United States each year, and in 2014, identity theft was the highest complaint for the 15th year in a row.
What is identity theft all about anyways? Identity theft is the fraudulent acquisition and use of one’s personal identifying information, typically for financial gain. On the other hand, business identity theft is connected to the impersonation of the specific business itself.
How is Identity Theft Carried Out?
Impersonation Crimes: In these cases, criminals act as somebody else in an authority position. For example, if you receive a phone call or email from the “IRS” requesting payment, this would be considered an impersonation crime.
Fake Tax Returns: These occur when criminals file taxes using stolen personal identification information, and Social Security Numbers. In 2015, there was a 134% increase in tax fraud victims, and according to CNBC, tax-refund fraud is expected to hit $21 billion this year. According to the International Revenue Service, it was just $6.5 billion two years ago; this is a significant increase.
Student and Child Identity Theft: is increasing because the younger ‘digital’ generation tends to share a vast volume of personal information over the web.
Medical Identity Theft: This type of theft is related to obtaining confidential health records. The biggest health breach to date took place at the end of 2014 and may have involved more than 80 million health records.
How Can You Protect Your Doylestown Workplace From It?
- Keep Documents in a Secure Area: Refrain from leaving sensitive information in plain sight or where it could be electronically hacked. Implement a detailed Document Management program and consider a clean desk policy, in an effort to maintain a secure and organized work environment.
- Practice Compliance: As a Doylestown business owner, you are legally mandated to practice rules set out under privacy laws and legislation that protect against identity theft; this includes specifics outlined under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA).
- Computer Updates and Password Protection:Take advantage of safeguards such as anti-virus and anti-malware software, and keep applications and programs updated at all times. Keep mobile devices locked at all times, and use passwords and encryption.
- Online Safety: Never open email attachments or click on links from unfamiliar sources (it may be a phishing scheme). Stay away from sharing confidential information on public networks. Learn social media safeguards.
- Secure Document Shredding:Information that is no longer needed must be shredded professionally and securely. In the workplace, introduce a shred-all policy and hire a reputable document destruction company who can provide you with secure shredding services for both paper documents and digital information (hard drive and e-media destruction).
Get in touch with Titan Shredding in Doylestown, for more information on secure document shredding. We have the resources and experience to handle your shredding needs.
Call our professionals today at 866-848-2699