CSID CEO Bill Morrow cautions consumers against identity theft apathy
There are numerous companies out there saying they can help you prevent identity theft. The first thing you need to know: No one can prevent identity theft. No matter what you do, your personal information has already been exposed to thousands of computers and data miners. Think about it. From the day you were born you parents handed over your name, date of birth, Social Security number and their names to the hospital. That is all an identity thief would need to get going, and no matter what you do, you can’t prevent a data breach at your birth hospital.
So, any company telling you they can prevent identity is denying reality. Here are a few more pieces of information you’ve probably been told that haven’t been telling you the full picture.
- I shred my mail. That’s all I need. Yes, shredding is a necessary step toward identity theft protection. However, it is a small piece of the puzzle – a very small piece. In today’s digital age, your personal and financial information is no longer just on pieces of paper. Instead, it can be found on computers across the nation and, more than likely, around the world. So, by all means keep shredding bank statements, credit card bills and the like, but keep in mind that you need to do more to protect your identity than just shred.
- I receive credit reports throughout the year, so I’m safe from identity theft. More than 95 percent of all identity theft protection solutions sold today are credit protection plans that provide credit reports, monitoring and alerts. While these are part of an effective protection service, they fall far short of a solution. The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) identity theft studies report that credit-related identity theft has fallen to less than 20 percent of identity theft crimes. To successfully fight back against identity theft and fraud-related crimes, you need credit and non-credit-related identity theft detection and protection capabilities.
- My bank will cover me if my identity is stolen. It is true that many financial institutions will cover misuse of a customer’s credit or debit card by an identity theft if you report the missing card as soon as possible. However, as mentioned before, identity theft is no longer restricted to high charges on your credit account. Your bank, unless it offers 360-degree protection against identity theft, will not protect you against criminals using your personal information to commit crimes, gain employment, obtain a driver’s license or apply for a non-credit loan.
- All identity theft protection companies are the same. When the number of identity theft cases increased so did the number of businesses looking to capitalize on this widespread crime. However, while these companies may have entered the market at the same time, their products are not the same. Look for an identity theft protection company, like CSID, that goes beyond credit monitoring to fully protect your identity from misuse. This includes monitoring credit reports, non-credit loans, public records, change of address notifications, criminal records and the Internet.
Bill Morrow is chairman and CEO of CSID, an identity theft protection company that offers a comprehensive suite of business and personal security solutions targeting all aspects of identity theft. CSID’s comprehensive Security Suite provides the industry’s strongest protection solutions, including identity validation, comprehensive background screenings, identity theft protection for employees and customers, and data breach management.