How to Reduce the Risk of Identity Theft & Determine Whether It’s Happened to You

Tips for protecting your corporate accounts as well as your employees’ confidential data

As mentioned in the TPG Webinar on cyber breaches, 25% of data breaches occur from employees accidentally releasing private data. Also allowing employees to use personal devices to connect to your company network creates risk of attack. This information is useful to individuals, as well as HR risk managers trying to reduce this risk to employees in their organization. Taking any one of these actions will significantly reduce your risk of falling victim to identity theft.

Anti-virus software: One of the first things you want to do is to make sure you have an antivirus solution turned on. Many of the computer systems today come with them. The key is you must turn it on.

You’re at risk when you’re surfing the Internet, receiving email, or exchanging text messages. The bad actors (perpetrators) will typically load code in email links and con or trick you into clicking on them, which will infect your machine and cause it to release information. Whether it’s your Social Security number, your bank account numbers, or other information you don’t want disclosed. It could be your corporate turn of accounts, if you’re a financial executive, or confidential data on your employees.

Here are see several variations of anti-virus products that you can install…

Anti-Malware: Have you ever wondered why when you click on a product on the Internet, suddenly every Website you visit shows you a copy of that ad? The problem is adware. When you click on an ad for a product or service, those advertisers load a piece of software on your browser that will follow you around as you visit various places on the web. The key is to install an adware or malware product that will strip it from your system.

Anti-Virus for Smartphones: There are quite a few products now available for both adware, malware and anti-virus applications for your phones as well. See a list of those here: http://mobile-security-software-review.toptenreviews.com

Secure your wireless router and use a VPN: Most people don’t think about installing their own virtual private network. It will protect both your phones as well as your laptops. A few years ago, this was only available to people in business, but today VPNs are available for pretty much anyone. You just select a product and either have it installed or install it yourself. If you don’t do anything else, investigate putting a virtual private network on your phone. This will encrypt all communications between your phone and everything, period, so that if someone is listening on your phone or has tapped a Wi-Fi in a Starbucks, the data’s all encrypted.

Use a password manager:

We all have been pounded by our IT professionals to use strong and secure passwords. The problem with that is every website we visit asks us for a secure password. It’s hard to remember these six to eight digits with special characters, especially if you must change them every few months. Password managers are software applications you can install on your phone and laptop, to help you keep track of all your passwords. You only must remember one. It will help essentially secure all your devices. More importantly, when you go to all these Websites again, the application remembers those passwords for you.

How do we select an identity protection product when they all look the same?

The first generation of identity protection products were for the most part all the same, and the features of those programs were very similar. The primary components are tools like credit monitoring, public record monitoring, and basically monitoring tools to detect whether your information is being disclosed. All the companies in this identity protection industry use the same data. Consequently, there’s no difference in terms of monitoring tools in the first generations of products.

However, there are differences when you start to look at what’s insured. All insurance is not alike, and you need to look at the fine print to know what you’re getting. One example is whether funds transferred out of your accounts are covered. In some cases, they’ll say there’s a sublimit, if you will, up to a million dollars. In many cases, the sublimits are lower. If you’re concerned about electronic funds transfers, be sure to look at the sublimits.

Identity theft recovery is also an important component. If you fall victim to identity theft, it’s good that the modern screening tools detect it, but if you don’t recover from it, then it’s not helpful. You want to make sure there’s identity theft recovery services as part of your insurance product.

As a unique feature, IDexperts provides medical identity case monitoring. Other companies, like LifeLock, will monitor your savings and investment accounts. Experian, as an example, will set up a credit lock, or a credit freeze on your credit.

Options for ID Protection:

Lastly, you must look at the terms and conditions, as they’re important in this case. It turns out many companies will ask you for the right to sell and use your data in their terms and conditions. This is an oxymoron when you’re trying to protect yourself from identity theft. Make sure that the company you work with does not include this right when you sign the terms and conditions.

For more information on the risks & impact of the explosive growth in data breaches to your employees & to your business:

View entire Webinar 

View shorter overview article

2018-08-21T09:05:04+00:00

Employee Benefits

The Employee Benefits Division of The Partners Group serves the employee benefit needs of over 500 West Coast employers, with offices in Portland, Lake Oswego, and Bend, OR; Bellevue, WA; and Bozeman MT. Our benefits consulting team specializes in providing a highly-consultative approach coupled with problem-solving wellness analytics, to help employers reduce healthcare costs, improve employee health, and create long-term health plan stability.

Business Consulting

The Business Consulting Division of The Partners Group is dedicated to consulting with healthcare systems and jumbo employers to manage the health and well being of their employees, families, and communities. Our focus is to provide an innovative, solution-oriented service that capitalizes on data to pinpoint potential problems. Whether it be uncovering potential sources of escalating healthcare costs, or other anomalies in data, this service provides endless, problem-solving advantages to a variety of industries.

Commercial Insurance

The Partners Group Commercial Insurance Division manages the business risks for hundreds of employers. We provide an unmatched depth and breadth in commercial insurance and risk management services combined with extraordinary people who possess an unusual ability to connect on a personal level. We work hard to understand the unique risks and exposures of your business, and identify the solutions to provide the right coverage for the right price. As an independent company The Partners Group can tailor solutions to work specifically for you, even creating new policies and programs, if that’s what you need.

Private Client Services

The Partners Group Private Client Services Division advises business owners and high income shareholder groups comprising just over 3,200 successful individuals, families and medical professionals on investment services, retirement planning, and personal insurance. We’ve been in business for over 30 years as a privately held company based in the Northwest, and we’re here to stay. Additionally, we are not tied to products and plans. We provide various platforms and a multitude of options to fit your needs, which can change over time as your life changes. When you work with TPG Private Client Services, you’re dealing with the shareholders of this firm, and we are honored to play a role your life, your family’s lives, and your next generation’s lives.