Low-Tech Identity Theft and Business Fraud Risks

If you want to protect your data in the Digital Age, good cyber security habits are a must. But you must also stay vigilant about the protection of your hard copy information; it’s low-hanging fruit for criminals intent on stealing identities and business data. In this blog, we highlight several low-tech identity theft and business fraud risks with advice on how to protect yourself from them.

Mail Theft

You don’t think twice sticking a stamp on bill payments and putting them in your mailbox. But what happens if a thief gets to them before a Canada Post letter carrier does? Mail theft is on the rise. Instead of leaving bill payments in your mailbox for a mail carrier to collect, switch to paperless electronic bills or have payments automatically deducted from your checking account. Thieves also like to steal credit card offers and apply for credit in your name. To opt out of pre-approved credit card and insurance offers and marketing lists, click here.

Phone Scams

It’s not just the elderly who fall for phone scams. Every day, Canadians of all ages volunteer sensitive personal information over the phone. Never give your social insurance number, credit card, or banking information over the phone unless you initiated the call to a known and trusted organization. Protect yourself from unsolicited phone calls by registering your phone number with the National Do Not Call List. If you feel you are the victim of a phone scam, can also report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Scam.

Dumpster Diving

Dumpster diving is one of the oldest and easiest identity theft tricks in the book, especially since bank statements, receipts, utility bills, and medical records are often carelessly discarded in curbside trash and recycling bins. For a more secure document disposal solution, use a walk-in shredding service where your documents are professionally destroyed with NAID AAA Certified processes.

Shoulder Surfing

Face it, you’re a victim of digital distraction, often glued to your phone, laptop or tablet. The problem is, you may not be the only one looking at your screen. Shoulder-surfing thieves capitalize on this “digital distraction” to steal sensitive information while someone is using an ATM, writing a check, or logging onto their online bank account at a café. To stay secure, be cognizant of your surroundings and make sure your personal and sensitive information isn’t visible while in public.

Business Insider Theft

A considerable number of identity theft crimes occur at work when dishonest employees steal sensitive information. Never leave sensitive documents unattended when not in use. Avoid these bad habits to prevent business insider theft:

  • Leaving documents in copiers, fax machines, or on desktops
  • Failing to lock file storage rooms or file cabinets
  • Tossing confidential information in waste or recycling bins

Consider adopting a “shred everything” policy to take the decision process out of whether to shred or simply recycle business documents. A scheduled shredding service can help keep your business information secure by placing secure shred collection containers throughout your building. This way, it’s easy for employees to toss obsolete documents—and even whole files—inside without worrying about which pages are confidential or not.

For more identity theft prevention tips, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

Phoenix Recycling provides records shredding and destruction services to all of Manitoba.

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