Latest "Product Endorsements" Posts
Product Review: Are identity theft monitoring services worth it?
Yes, identity theft services can be well worth the investment, especially if you ever become a victim. Imagine that your Social Security number is part of a national breach like Anthem or the Office of Personnel Management. Or it’s stolen out of your tax preparer’s office, scavenged from your trash or skimmed from your iPad as you surf on a free Wi-Fi connection. In most cases, you have no idea that your digital identity has fallen into unethical hands, usually those of organized crime, who replicate and resell it in seconds.
You certainly don’t need to be an internet privacy expert to be bothered that Google and Bing track every word you type into your browser, compile that data into a meta-profile of who you are and then sell it downstream to people who want to get to know you intimately (including criminals). Cases of browser surveillance have been documented for years. So, for example, if your daughter types the word “bankruptcy” into your browser while doing a high school report, that information is sold to the credit card company you happen to visit next who serves you to a page with a higher APR since you’ve been “flagged” as a high-risk customer (thanks to your daughter’s innocuous search term).
The implications are even greater for companies, who have a lot to lose when surfing behavior falls into the hands of competitive spies, foreign governments or organized criminals. Case in point: I recently delivered a keynote address as an internet privacy expert to a group of Latin-American journalists at a BlackBerry conference. One of the most common questions the journalists asked was how to keep Google from recording their private (and potentially politically sensitive) search terms.
How to Stop Check Fraud and Check Washing
Check washing, a highly common form of check fraud, is the practice of removing legitimate check information, especially the “Pay To” name and the amount, and replacing it with data beneficial to the criminal (his own name or a larger amount) through chemical or electronic means. One of the many ways to protect yourself against check fraud is so important that it deserves its very own article.
A foolproof way to protect your checks from being altered, whether by washing or by electronic means, is to use security checks offered by most companies.
Here are some of the features to look for when you’re purchasing High Security Checks. These features will safeguard you not only against check washing, but other high tech forms of check fraud as well:
- Safety security paper (visible and invisible fluorescent fibers, chemical-sensitive)
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.