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It’s an unfortunate sign of the times, but parents today have to be extra vigilant in protecting their children from many harmful things. That means constantly checking their social media, phone texts, and credit reports for nefarious actors and activities. That’s right – credit reports.
In the practical sense, no child under age 18 should have a credit report because they are too young to establish credit. However, if you do find a credit report in your child’s name, it’s likely because he or she is a victim of identity theft.
Children are Targeted by Identity Thieves
Children are prime targets for identity theft because they have fresh Social Security numbers which have not been used to establish any accounts or credit. Identity thieves have used stolen Social Security numbers to open fake credit card accounts, apply for mortgages, and obtain government benefits. One in 40 households with minor children have at least one child whose identity was stolen to establish fake accounts.
In most cases the family or the victim won’t discover the fraud (more…)
Shredding companies such as American Document Destruction that are certified and affiliated with the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) have access to the shredding industry’s best and most current practices regarding document and data destruction. NAID is a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate businesses, government and service providers of the need to securely destroy discarded information. NAID provides a wealth of knowledge in the debate over recycling versus shredding. Industry experts have written articles and entire chapters addressing people’s misconceptions that paper recycling, often referred to as “pulping,” is a secure method of destroying sensitive documents. According to NAID, “Any organization that selects recycling as an alternative for secure information destruction should reconsider that process, the risks and their obligation”.
Below is a list of items published by the NAID Advisory that businesses and organizations should consider when determining how to properly protect customers, clients, patients and themselves from the risk of an information data breach:
Access to scrap paper facilities is generally not restricted or monitored. Public dump sites do not offer any security guarantees.
Generally, scrap paper companies are not obligated to screen employees.
There is usually no documented acceptance of fiduciary responsibility between the scrap paper company and (more…)
After the recent data breaches in the news from Saks 5th Avenue/Lord & Taylor and from Orbitz/Expedia, it is important to take some steps to protect yourself from credit fraud.
Consider a fraud alert or credit freeze.
You can curtail thieves’ ability to open lines of credit in your name by setting up a fraud alert, or even freezing you credit altogether, with the three major credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
A fraud alert lets these firms know that your info may have been compromised. They will then take steps to verify that any credit applications in your name are legitimate.
However, it does not block access to your credit report. Access to that information can be blocked by setting up a credit freeze.
It can cost up to ten dollars to freeze your credit with each credit reporting firm, depending on where you live.
Keep in mind that you also have to unfreeze your credit when you want to open a new account, and that could take a week or two.
Watch for warning signs
Keep an eye out for small transactions, even as little as one to two dollars that come up on any of your accounts. Thieves will often test a card to (more…)
When more than 145 million people had some form of personal information exposed after a major credit reporting agency in the U.S. was hacked, Americans were scrambling to secure their sensitive information.
Equifax, which collects personal data – like Social Security numbers, birth dates, credit card numbers and addresses – announced recently that an unidentified hacker group gained access to a large portion of its data. That again brought up the question of how people can protect themselves from identify theft.
Equifax is one of the three largest credit reporting agencies in the country; the other two are Experian and TransUnion. With millions of people being affected by the latest breach, some might not want to trust the agencies, but there aren’t really any options.
“We have no choice,” said Cora Lathrop, mortgage loan officer at Cherokee Nation. “I don’t think new credit reporting agencies are going to pop up. It’s just evolved through the years to these three majors ones, and I don’t think there’s anything (more…)
The most recent Equifax data breach exposed the confidential and private information of some 143 million U.S. consumers to hackers and other nefarious users. This information includes consumer’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license and credit card numbers.
Essentially, this means that practically every adult consumer in the United States had their information stolen. While identity theft monitoring and insurance services can help to identify when your identity is being abused, this doesn’t solve the actual problem. The information taken was more than enough for identity theft (someone to impersonate you), to create synthetic identities (fake identities made using pieces of your real information) and to enable account takeovers (where fraudsters have your credentials and take over your online accounts). Given the breadth of the breach and the attack vectors, a credit freeze offered by credit bureaus will not fully protect anyone whose (more…)
The survey polled 105 human resource professionals and found that two-thirds (68 percent) consider identity theft protection an increasingly important employee benefit, while only half currently offer identity theft protection to their employees.
“In light of the Equifax data breach, we’re certainly seeing more HR, broker, and agent inquiries seeking information on our implementation and enrollment process in order to make the benefit available before 2018,” IdentityForce’s chief executive Steven Bearak said in an interview.
Employee turnover is expensive to employers — and ironically, most of it could also be prevented by employers.
Within organizations, HR departments are coordinating with their information technology teams, who are increasingly looking at identity protection as an important line of defense against potential security data breaches, according to the report.