Sep 26, 2013 Dave King
With identity theft continuing to ravage the United States economy, more regulators and consumer advocates have stepped up to improve defenses against this crime. However, while law enforcement officials and federal departments have gained some ground in the fight against identity theft, businesses and consumers remain the best lines of defense when it comes to ID verification.
Organizations of all kinds, especially those that manage medical and financial information, need to improve their data security, records management and ID verification performances as soon as possible. Failure to adequately protect corporate, employee, vendor and consumer identities can severely damage a brand image, serving a company with more bad press and financial losses than might be possible to overcome.
Medical information in the front
Fox 18 KLJB recently listed some of the most important ID verification standards that businesses and employees need to adhere to when managing medical information. With healthcare experiencing major shifts, including those that are the product of the impending Obamacare statutes, progressive security and privacy protocols need to be implemented as soon as possible.
The source explained that employers of all kinds should train employees in the best practices of protecting personal information, be it financial or medical data. For one, employees should know to not share any information related to health plan identification to any medical providers who state that their services are free. In fact, staff members will always need to verify the identities of their prospective healthcare providers before supplying any information.
When it comes to identity theft, the Internet is increasingly the most dangerous environment, especially for medical information. According to the news provider, businesses should make sure that all employees, including human resources professionals, know to not disclose any sensitive medical or financial data to websites that have not been verified by security software and other protocols.
Icons will usually indicate whether a website is secure or not, as well as the URL. For example, a secure website's URL will begin with "http:" instead of "http," Fox 18 KLJB noted. The news provider stressed the importance of updating all ID verification training and management protocols before the new Federal Data Services Hub goes into action on October 1.
Same rules apply for other data
While medical and financial information are among the most sensitive types of data a company or consumer might handle, other types of records can also be used by hackers and criminals to steal identities. For this reason, companies should always ensure that their records management practices, ranging from creation and collection to monitoring and destruction, are aligned with industry-recognized best practices.
Additionally, firms that do not feel entirely comfortable and confident with the ID verification process should always consider using a service provider to protect corporate and personal identities from potentially incendiary parties. Investing in the necessary technology and services to keep records secure will almost always be far more affordable than having to reconcile a major identity theft event.