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We have all heard about China hacking our super computers that have every firewall and prevention system we could dream up installed. The pentagon is quintupling, that’s right quintupling– going from 1 to 5, multiplying by 5 – or in this case increasing by 500%. The Pentagon aims to quintuple the cyber security force taking it from 900 people (salaries and sub-contractors) to 4,900 people in the next several years. >Here< …. And now the issues with hacking in Korea…

Shred Instead is not exactly building secret space ships, engineering software to run a multi-billion dollar company, or even writing code on a website submission form but even at our small business level we have received cyber threats and attempts at defacing our brand, stealing our logo, and more.

Why does this matter? Well it’s simple proof that Identity Theft Persists

March 4, 2013 – “Dance studio owner charged with identity theft” – ABC Channel 6 Action News.

            Where you ask? Right here in Shred Instead’s back yard – Elkton, MD – Asa Jones, 40 year old owner of Live, Love and Dance Studio decided to take a little vacation on her clients’ dime. Jones apparently took an all-expense paid for trip to California much to the dismay of her customers. Jones used the Credit Card information gathered from her daily activities as Dance Studio Owner to pay for her trip out west.

            If this doesn’t hit home I don’t know what will – it’s not paper shredding but I advise all readers to go and check your credit card statements, keep a watchful eye on your checking accounts, credit card accounts, and any other form of payment you may use. And of course we definitely think that you should use proper disposal techniques when destroying confidential materials and we can simplify that process for you as it is our expertise!

 

February 2013 – FTC – Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book for January – December 2012

            The FTC reported 369,132 cases of identity theft in 2012; this is up from 279,226 in 2011. Can you live with a 1.32% increase in threat of having your identity stolen? Well it looks like we have to because there’s more – a second report released by Javelin Strategy and Research says that identity theft was up $12.6 million last year, 2012, for a total of $21 Billion. This $21 Billion value attributed to Identity Theft is the highest estimate since 2009. 

Enough doom and gloom –

our overall recommendation is to monitor your credit cards, bank accounts, retirement accounts, and credit score on a regular basis. We are not going to recommend any products or endorse any methods but urge you to talk to your bank and other trusted advisors on how to prevent your identity from being stolen.

** Of course our last recommendation –  shred everything and only use trusted AAA NAID Certified shredding companies to perform on-site shredding services – do not let them talk you into off-site shredding, the savings undermine the entire reason you are shredding – your identity.