Identities, data, and assets accessible over the internet need protection. It is because thieves have become more high tech and have taken to stealing information instead of physical belongings. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, tablet and smartphones are changing the digital world and making it more risky. Thieves have even become so emboldened that they have taken to blackmailing businesses and individuals with threats of loss of data access, individuals’ entities and even intellectual property.
But how can you protect yourself, your business data and intellectual property from these high tech thieves?
One very important way that you can protect your identities, data and assets is by making sure that you have selected the best internet security software for yourself or your business. You can read more about how to do this here.
One of the most frequent ways that personal and business identity theft occurs is by thieves accessing documents that have been disposed of inappropriately. All documents that carry personal and business information that could possibly be used by criminals should be shredded.
We also recommend that you should use a password manager software. This is particularly true of businesses. The annual survey of passwords being used by Splashdata showed that "people still continue to put themselves at risk for hacking and identity theft" by using weak passwords. You can read more about our recommendations on this subject here.
For businesses that are based in the European Union (EU) or have dealings with the identity information of EU residents by way of international trade these businesses are required to comply with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by 25th May 2018. You can read more about the GDPR here, including how to get support.
For businesses we recommend the following prudent risk management strategies:
You can purchase cyber security insurance if you are a business and personal identity theft insurance if you are an individual.
On a risk management basis for business it is prudent to carry business cyber insurance cover due to the frequency of cyber attacks. Your business's insurance broker will be able to advise you on what is the most appropriate cover.
You can also purchase personal identity theft insurance protection. Basically this is insurance on your identity that covers your name and social security number. Having insurance on your identity can save you lots of trouble and hundreds of dollars if your identity is ever stolen and you have to try to clear your name and your debt.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming you don’t have anything worth stealing. Thieves are not only interested in people with great credit scores who have lots of money in the bank. They might be planning to rack up a painfully high amount of credit card debt in your name.
Even though credit card identity theft gets the most press, it is not the only kind. No matter how bad your credit score is, a thief can still use your name for a driver’s license or for tax purposes.
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In a January 2016 article in Forbes magazine it reported that Juniper Research estimated that by 2019 the global cost of cyber crime would reach 2 trillion US dollars per annum. It is no longer an acceptable risk for a business not to have the Information Security Management System Standard ISO 27001 (or equivalent) in place. Losses from cyber security breaches are a clear and present danger. Our goal is to help you become aware of the risks and to manage them better by referring you to appropriate professionals.
On an individual level, identity theft is a very serious problem, even though the chances may appear that you would not become a victim because it always happens to someone else. This is a mistake that can be costly in time and money.
It is important that you have identity theft protection so that you are not gambling on the fact that your personal information will never be stolen. You don’t want the consequences of stolen identity.
Through this Identity Theft Scout website, I will share information about the growing problems with identity theft and protective measures to take.
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