Guard Your Identity: Do Not Reply
Here’s the deal. You get an email from your bank or your credit card company. It tells you “Do Not Reply” to this address. Do we listen? Do we even see what the reply address is?
Well, according to a story I just read, there are lots of people who do not understand nor do they read the entire email that says, “Don’t hit the Reply key, and go head and compose their email. They don’t understand they should not be giving out their account number, or any other confidential information at all in any email at any time. However, some people still do.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch in Seattle where a gentlemen owns the domain name, DoNotReply.com, he gets all sorts of email sent to him from people hitting the Reply key on their email. He receives way too many emails with personal information. Fortunately, he’s a person of integrity.
However, not everyone you email to is an upstanding person who will just delete your email and not want your information. So if you get a communication from any financial institution, insurance company, bank, credit card company, know that you will have a secure place to log in and send emails on the company’s web site. Do not send them a “regular email.
Identity Theft Protection In The Workplace
Do you think that Identity Theft can happen in your workplace?
There’s always someone at the office who is a real PITA; you don’t trust them any farther than you can throw them. Do you think that person might have access to your personal identifying information like your social security number and home address?
That would make your skin crawl due to the fact that not only do they know where you live, but they have access to take your vital info. They can sell it or pass it along to someone else who could commit identity theft crimes against you — and that’s a fact!!
So Bob and I are taking the bull by the horns. New legislation was passed that requires all employers, no matter how big or small, to be proactive in educating their employees and putting measures in place so your personal identifying information is protected from prying eyes that have no right to ever see that data. However, the legislation meant to protect you was to be in place by November 1, 2008, today, but has been delayed until May of next year, like for banks. Hmn.
In any event, Bob (my silent partner for the moment) has come up with a plan to help companies lock down their information. However, we can’t cover every company in the US, but we do have the info available to help your company tighten up their security in regard to your personal identifying information and protect you against identity theft by fellow employees.
If you work in an office where you think measures should be tightened up, tell us about it.
Have Your Prescription Records Been Hacked?
In these days of cybercrime, all types of identity theft are on the rise, especially medical identity theft. A couple of weeks ago, someone purportedly hacked into the State of Virginia’s Prescription Monitoring Program. This program consists of over 35 million prescription records taken from 8 million individual records. This database tracks the usage of powerful narcotics and painkillers. From what I gather, this is a pilot program to reduce the abuse, theft and illegal sale of the controlled substances sold under labels that include OxyContin and Vicodin by tracking individual prescription drug usage.
Naturally the Virginia State Legislature is a bit more than perturbed about this whole situation especially when they were notified that the “bandits” wanted a 10-million-dollar ransom to return the data. Needless to say, Virginia did not make the payment. Even if the state had paid the money, does anyone honestly think a crook will return all the data before making copies of it?
If that doesn’t give you room for pause, I don’t know what will. It seems to me that if the government can’t protect themselves from cybercrime, particularly where it involves our sensitive information, the burden is on us to protect ourselves.
If you do not have corporate strength firewalls and know how to use them, we strongly urge you to check out our program. We have used this program for over 3 years, saved a horde of money on keeping our computers out of the repair shop, and not had our identities compromised yet.