June 30, 2016
Identity Theft: Risks and Prevention in Chicago
An average of 12 million people are victims of identity theft every year. In 2014, identity theft contributed to over $26.4 billion in financial losses. The average loss per incident was $5,130. (Source)
These incredible damages speak to the risk that identity theft poses. The most concerning aspect is that the victims of identity theft can only do so much to protect their personal information. Mistakes on the part of employers, banks, partnered vendors, healthcare providers and countless others could just as easily lead to the theft of dozens or even thousands of individuals’ personal information at one time.
Types of Identity Theft
- Financial Identity Theft — Account numbers, access codes, credit cards and other private info can lead to the theft of thousands of dollars.
- Criminal Identity Theft — Personal information or stolen ID scans can be used to report false names to the police after criminals are arrested.
- Social Security Identity Theft — Stolen social security numbers can be used to take out loans, open credit lines and commit other forms of fraud.
- Medical Identity Theft — Theft of patient information, including social security numbers, can be used to commit insurance fraud.
- Child Identity Theft — Minors are common targets since they do not actively monitor use of social security numbers and other identifiers.
- Synthetic Identity Theft — Some criminals use multiple identifiers to “create” an identity used for criminal activity or other forms of fraud.
Prevent Identity Theft Through Shredding
Preventing identity theft is possible by following strict best practices for information security. For instance, using shared computers or public Wi-Fi can allow others to potentially unearth personal data through browser cookies and other means.
Another critical identity theft prevention tactic is to ensure that individuals and organizations all have a document retention strategy that is described through a detailed policy. Most documents should be retained for only a limited amount of time, then they must be shredded completely.
Similarly, old hard drives must be destroyed to prevent data recovery. Even hard drives that have been “wiped” or deleted through software can contain traces of personal data that can be pieced together.
Trust PROSHRED to Reduce Identity Theft Risk
PROSHRED, a secure document destruction service, uses state-of-the-art technology to completely obliterate your documents, records, hard drives and digital storage media. We can also provide certificates of destruction and camera footage to allow our clients to confirm beyond a doubt that their sensitive information has been completely destroyed.
Don’t trust your Chicago document shredding needs to half measures like in-house shredding or inadequate document shredding companies. Only PROSHRED can provide the needed peace of mind to avoid the long-term financial and reputational consequences that identity theft can inflict. Get PROSHRED today!