Yesterday’s VIA luncheon on the subject of Identity Theft was an eye opener.  Most of us think we’ve heard it all and are savvy on the subject, but the presentation by Lynnette Madsen of BPG, Inc. showed many of us our information is sadly out of date, and that we are open to risks we hadn’t even considered.

Interestingly, more than 52% of Identity Theft happens in the workplace and doesn’t necessarily include monetary losses.   Social Security fraud is rampant.  Social Security numbers are so highly desireable that often, once acquired criminally, they are sold over and over again, allowing illegal aliens to live and work in the United States without danger or penalty.  Ms. Madsen offered us an example:  A young boy’s social security number is “stolen.”  With that number, loans are acquired, items are financed, and he is hugely in debt to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars – all before his fifth birthday.  Wow. 

For business, there are clear mandates and laws that require appropriate protection of customer and employees.   Obsolete office equipment carries a risk.  Inoperable computers are discarded without clearing hard drives and copiers are returned to the leasing company after the lease term is up with data left in memory.  Protecting our customers and ourselves requires unusual diligence. 

Ms. Madsen’s presentation may have opened our eyes, but it is up to us to implement best practices.  Clearly, the subject hit home for many.  We have a lot to learn!

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 18, 2010 at 9:38 AM

    The presentation on Identity Theft given at today’s VIA luncheon by Lynnette Madsen, CEO of BPG COnsulting, Inc., was outstanding. Just this one presentation alone was easily worth the price of one year of VIA membership.

  2. March 18, 2010 at 10:19 AM

    The program on Identity Theft made me start thinking about my business databases in a completely different light. It’s not just important to backup your systems, but also to have plans in place to protect the data on your systems — even your copiers! Looking forward to more eye-opening and educational programs at the monthly VIA Luncheon.

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