Oct 08, 2013 Dave King
Technology continues to enter the consumer and corporate landscapes rapidly, with more businesses launching mobility strategies and employees bringing in diverse devices and applications. Additionally, social media usage has skyrocketed since its inception as a viable marketing, sales and customer service tool, while the general population is also communicating over these platforms.
Because so much personal and financial information is transferred through and stored in somewhat uncharted territory, enterprises need to be more mindful of comprehensive ID verification practices. Without ID verification protocols and training, employees and businesses face massive risks pertaining to data breach, identity theft and financial losses.
Now, some experts are beginning to argue that social media is prevailing as one of the best opportunities for criminals to steal personal and corporate information, then use that data to perpetuate identity theft.
AZCentral.com recently reported that Arizona State University held a seminar to educate students on the risks of identity theft, while speakers pointed out that adults under the age of 30 account for more than one-quarter of all victims of the crime. The elderly are likewise at increased risk, especially because thieves prey on those who do not fully comprehend identity and data protection best practices.
Younger individuals represent a more unique challenge, though, as these demographics tend to not have many bank accounts open or partake in other activities that could increase the threat. However, the source asserted that social media usage among adults under the age of 30 is likely the highest of any demographic, meaning personal information for these populations is readily available online.
"All the different places that young people communicate, they make themselves vulnerable to those that are professionals in finding out about people and using it," Kathleen Winn of the Arizona Attorney General's Office explained, according to the news provider.
AZCentral.com added that the instructors who held the seminar asserted that the beginning stages of identity theft will lead to more substantial issues should victims not become conscious of their situations as early as possible. Leaders of the event stressed the importance of being mindful when posting private information to public channels.
These same practices should be followed in business, as employee error continues to account for the majority of data breaches. Staff members should be instructed to be especially careful when using corporate social media accounts.
Prevention better than reconciliation
Once identity theft occurs, the victim will almost always experience an uphill battle to regain their financial standings and footing. The Beatrice Daily Sun recently reported that officials in Nebraska are calling for more widespread adherence to identity theft prevention best practices among consumers and businesses in the state, especially in light of the healthcare reform.
Experts have warned that Obamacare represents a clear and present danger when it comes to the disclosure and loss of patient information. The news provider asserted that consumers have plenty of resources available to ensure that they are partaking in online information transfers securely, such as guidance from the federal and state governments.