Identity Theft in Florida: What You Need to Know to Stay Protected
Thu, Oct 24, 2013
By: Jim Beran
In honor of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we want our valued customers and friends to know that someone’s identity is stolen in the U.S. every three seconds, which equates to approximately 12 million people annually.
As a document management company based in Pensacola, we especially want our fellow Florida citizens to know that we are most at risk for identity theft. Florida cities make up 9 of the top 10 largest metropolitan areas for identity-theft related consumer complaints in 2012, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
There are things you can do to help prevent your identity from being stolen. Because of the lasting damage of identity theft, it’s important to know if you’re at risk, and what to do if your identity has been compromised.
Social Media Safety
Sometimes your information is made vulnerable through something as simple as an unsecure social media account. Privacy settings on Facebook are set as public until you revise them. Go to http://www.facebook.com/me/favorites and establish secure privacy settings for your “Likes.” Make sure all posts and image sharing are also set to “Friends” only or other even more private settings, and not public.
There is a simulation tool at www.protectyourprofile.org that will allow you to see what could happen if a hacker got into your Facebook account. Although it seems very real, this is only a simulation, and provides a realistic look into what criminals could obtain from your Facebook page.
Don’t leave important personal or business papers in the recycle bin or dumpster where anyone can find them. The shredding of confidential information is essential, whether in your home or your business. Shredding paper documents isn’t just for accountants. Every type of business has confidential records including financial and legal information, client or customer details or sales receipts that need to be properly destroyed.
Hard Drive Data Destruction
Digital data is essential to managing confidential information like employee records, financials, proprietary documents and health data, but there comes a time when this information trail comes to an end. Whether you’ve had a hard drive failure or it’s just time for an upgrade, disposing of computer equipment must be done correctly.
Tossing an old hard drive in the garbage is not only bad for the environment, but it exposes the data on it to breaches or information theft. The only way to ensure proper destruction of computer files is through a secure data destruction process created by the Department of Defense, which we understand and strictly adhere to.
There are many ways that your personal and business information can be compromised today, but being proactive in prevention will help keep your identity and finances safe. Contact us to find out more about document management and document destruction of paper or digital records.