Identity Theft is Serious

12 Aug

Across the country, the threat of identity theft continues to climb.   This is a white-collar crime that continues to plague American consumers, and while it has a direct impact on your wallet, it’s not just about the money.

From using your medical benefits to enabling illegal immigration and using your name in the act of a crime, identity fraud criminals are continually inventing new ways to use stolen information.

5 IDENTITIES.. who would have thought?

Did you know you have 5 identities?  Credit is the least of these.. take a look and see what you think.

1.) Drivers License Identity – In America, our driver’s licenses, issued by each state’s DMV, have become our national identification card. Unlike a passport, we carry these with us almost everywhere, multiplying the potential for theft. If your driver’s license is stolen and used by someone who receives a DUI and fails to appear in court, you could be arrested, booked and humiliated.   Or you could find out about a criminal charge after being denied for that promotion or new job.   Driver’s license theft is serious…

2.) Medical Identity – When someone uses your name, Social Security Number, birth date or insurance card to obtain medical services, they’ve attacked your medical identity. Whether they assume your identity for the purpose of getting tests, or receiving treatment, your name will be on the bill, and the results will become part of your medical history. In some instances medical identity theft means someone else is using your medical benefits.  Can you imagine being taken unconscious to the emergency room after a car accident and being given the wrong blood type, or treatment for a disease you do not have.  Changing your vital information could be life threatening.

3.) Social Security Number – When your Social Security Number is used by an identity thief, you are stuck in the middle with a serious need for an attorney. If an undocumented worker uses your Social Security Number to get a job, the income reported to the IRS will raise a red flag as unreported income on your tax return. Alternately, if the thief files before you, they can easily change your address and claim your tax refund. No one wants to reach 65 to find out someone has been using your benefits.

4.) Character Identity – If this happens to you it may seem like something out of a horror movie.  You know the flurry in your stomach when you see those red lights spinning in your rear view mirror.  Well for a minute imagine that same policeman running your license, and discovering that there is a felony warrant out for you arrest in Arizona, and you’ve never been to Arizona.  When someone assumes your identity and commits a crime in your name, the drama is real.

5.) Financial/Credit Identity Theft – Although this is the most commonly recognized identity theft, it is less than 20% of the Identity theft problem. Stealing your identity for financial gain, is a legitimate career path in some countries. A thief may set-up accounts in your name, use your account, borrow money against your home or purchase cars or even a house in your name. When your credit has been exhausted – and ruined – the thief disappears and leaves you with the daunting task of clearing your own name.

Don’t take Identity Theft lightly.. this is a serious issue, which will cost you time and money.. and could cost you reputation and credibility, and Medical Identity Theft could kill you.

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Data Recovery, Choose Wisely

17 Jul

In the corporate environment a good Data Recovery Team will do more than recover your data.. they will manage the entire response process.  This will include the technical ingenuity and security knowledge to help you gain a quick understanding of the seriousness of the situation and how you can be a part of the solution while not contributing to the problem.

A good Data Recovery team will use their experience and training to gain a quick understanding and prioritize the task of limiting your company’s further risk. By understanding the scope of the data security incident they can provide a sound and accurate information for further the business decisions you’ll be making in regards to the future of your computer data security.

Look for a team that provides root-cause analysis quickly and accurately and determines in the first hours the extent to which your data was actually compromised.  Restoration is critical, but protection should be a high priority and not forgotten.

A good team will be clear and precise in it’s due diligence.  From electronic investigation and forensic accounting to identifying fraud and instigating the solution and security you’ll need and want going forward.

Data is critical to a business’s vitality and well-being and losing data for any reason is cause for swift action and good decisions.  Losing data to fraud or vandalism is cause for even greater concern and raises the level of action you’ll need to take.

Fear need not be part of the equation if quick and wise decisions are made on choosing a recovery company.  From your first phone contact assume the seriousness of the incident and know that your Company will be on life-support until the issue is resolved.  Don’t bury your company by choosing a weak or unqualified Recovery team.

DATA RECOVERY TEST.. Pass or Fail?

17 Jul

Take the test

TRUE or FALSE … THE ANSWERS MAY SURPRISE YOU

1. To fix the computer you have to wipe the drive clean and reformat it losing all the data.

2. Once the drive has been opened and the heads are damaged, it’s hopeless.

3. When there is no sign of data on the drive.

4. Once it’s wet nothing can be recovered.

5. Once it’s smoking .. it’s burned up and can’t be recovered

6. Data can be recovered less than 65% of the time

 

ANSWERS

1. TRUE .. to fix the computer sometimes the drive needs to be reformatted (assuming it’s not damaged).. BUT have your Data taken OFF the drive first.

2. TRUE .. if the DRIVE has been opened there is rarely anything that can be done.

3. FALSE .. the information is recoverable 96% of the time… it is almost always there.

4. FALSE .. We can often recover from Cameras and other equipment that has gone swimming accidentally.

5. FALSE… generally  your data can be recovered even after the computer has caught fire and melted.

6.  FALSE…Data can be recovered 97% of the time