Facts and Tips from Florida’s Trusted Information Management Experts
There is no doubt that in the Information Age, all our physical and digital records are more valuable than we ever imagined. While technological advancements have led to easier and real-time access to information, they have also made us and our business more vulnerable to data breaches, hacks, scams and identity theft.
Identity theft is easy to carry out and rewards handsomely, hence, criminals make a lot of money for every record they lay their hands on. What this means is that no one is safe. From large corporations and small business owners, to independent professionals and contractors, fraudsters can and will target businesses of all sizes. According to the Federal Trade Commission’s recent report:
- Florida ranks topmost amongst all US states in the number of identity thefts reported each year.
- Identity thefts account for 13% of all reported frauds in the state.
- Top sources of these thefts are frauds related to credit card (40%), bank accounts (18%), taxes (17%), phone/utility bills (14%) and government benefits (9%).
As a locally-owned and operated company that specializes in secure storage and disposal of records, Crown Information Management is familiar with all aspects of identity theft in Florida. Our records management experts share some facts about how these thefts occur, and how you can protect yourself or your business from becoming the next victim.
Insights on Identity Frauds and How to Steer Around Them
Any impersonation or misuse of your personal information for illegal gains amounts to an identity theft. Fraudsters usually gather your details from sources, such as:
- Birth, death or marriage certificates
- Passports or driver’s licenses
- Property deeds or legal contracts
- Education, employment or medical records
- Bank accounts, debit and credit cards, taxes and utility bills
Your personal or business information is at risk on multiple levels:
- Physical Theft: Fraudsters steal wallets, purses, cards, laptops, mobile phones and partially shredded or un-shredded files, bills or documents to gain access to sensitive information.
- Digital Hacks: Sophisticated identity thieves hack into sources of information that rests on the websites or servers of government bodies, financial institutions, education institutions, medical facilities and other service providers.
- Phone Scamming: Fraudsters pose as debt collectors, government authorities, tax officers, bank officers or other service representatives, scamming you to part with critical or confidential information.
- Social Media Misuse: Cybercriminals take advantage of the information that you share or post on social media platforms, while creating fake identities for their personal gain.
As a business owner, there are several state and federal laws that hold you accountable for breaches in your customers’ or employees’ Personally Identifiable Information (PII). This includes names, dates of birth, addresses, telephone numbers, driver’s license numbers, social security numbers and more. Hence, it is important that you strengthen your physical and digital security measures to safeguard your personal and business information:
At an Individual Level:
- Keep your important documents in safe storage.
- Practice secure browsing techniques, use strong passwords and be cautious in your social media activities.
- Shred and securely dispose of sensitive paper records, as well as digital media, such as hard drives and thumb drives.
At a Business Level
- Invest in cybersecurity technology that protects your business data, hardware and software.
- Institutionalize formal information security measures, including access controls, safe storage, encryption, and secure shredding and disposal of physical and digital records.
- Sensitize your staff about spam emails, tailgating, phishing attacks and other potential security threats.
- Set up alerts and notifications for your business credit reports through reputed credit bureaus.
Robust Storage and Secure Disposal for Your Physical Information
While you continue to invest in sophisticated technology to outsmart hackers and cybercriminals, safeguard your physical records through Crown Information Management. As a trusted SOC1 Level 2 Report, NAID AAA and PCI Certified company, we systematically protect your sensitive files, documents or drives through our range of records management and destruction services.
Let the experts at Crown Information Management help you save time, money and space on safe storage and secure disposal of sensitive physical information. Call us at 800-979-9545 or complete our online form to request a free quote.