June 28, 2016
North Texas Identity Theft Facts
In 2014, there were more than 25,000 reported cases of identity theft in Texas. A majority of those complaints were filed in large metropolitan areas like Dallas-Fort Worth and surrounding suburbs like Plano and Frisco.
Further analysis reveals that Texas was second last year in the total number of identity theft cases (behind only California). Of course, both states’ have large populations that certainly boost the total number of incidents. At the same time though, Texas has the 10th highest incidence of identity theft, showing 96 complaints per 100,000 residents. To see how Texas ranks against other states in identity theft, visit Insurance Information Institute’s data: http://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/identity-theft-and-cybercrime.
For whatever reason, North Texas boasts a higher than average rate of identity theft, so businesses should be doing everything they can to prevent the devastating effects of an information breach. Some preventative measures include:
- Installing antivirus software, firewalls, and other security features on your company’s network,
- Implementing employee training programs that emphasize the importance of confidentiality in the workplace,
- Monitoring transactions and bank information for unauthorized activity,
- Encrypt electronic correspondence, passwords, and other electronic data.
Most importantly though, one of the biggest precautions you can take is shredding old documents once they’re no longer needed. Companies accomplish this in one of two ways: a personal office shredder or a third-party professional. More often than not, both sides offer unique advantages in terms of cost, but for overall security there is a clear winner.
Professional document shredders guarantee a unique level of security by utilizing the most advanced shredding technology on the market. This means that paperwork is sliced into pieces that are up to ten times smaller, drastically reducing the chances the information can ever be recovered by a criminal actor.
Texas also has a wide range of state-specific policies that enforce the safekeeping of client and patient data, specifically the Texas Medical Records Privacy Act of 2012, which states that any business (not just healthcare providers) that comes in contact with protected health information must follow strict disposal and storage initiatives. If your business is affected by this legislation, then you need ensure that every employee and division of your organization values the privacy of its patients.
Texas, like most states, also implements fines based on a ‘per violation’ basis. So, if your business is found to violate privacy provisions, it will face financial penalties based on each individual piece of data that was leaked, rather than one flat fee for the incident as a whole.
Wait no longer, the future of your organization depends on the privacy of its clients, its transactions, and its business decisions. That information should be maintained and viewed by your organization alone. Call your local PROSHRED® Dallas-Ft. Worth representative today to see how document shredding could reduce your chances of an information breach.