Posts Tagged ‘Theft’
Identity Theft Certification
Last Updated on Monday, 26 March 2012 05:43 Written by Celframe Security Team Monday, 27 August 2012 08:59
Identity theft certification has become a major defense against identity fraud as increasing number of companies and government agencies recognize the growing identity theft threats facing businesses and consumers as well as the need for well educated, trained and qualified professionals to stop identity theft.
As business and consumer efforts fail to protect personal information from time to time despite many security and privacy laws such as HIPAA and GLBA, the federal government recognizes the need to prevent identity theft in its tracks assuming personal information of consumers will be lost or stolen which can lead to identity theft and related fraud. To protect consumers and businesses from the rising cost of identity fraud and extensive efforts required to clean up the aftermath of credit fraud, the federal government introduced the Red Flags Rule to force certain high risk financial institutions and creditors to take the necessary measures to protect themselves and consumers against identity theft.
Financial institutions and creditors are now required to design and implement a comprehensive program to prevent identity theft and reduce the number of actual fraud cases resulting from identity theft. As mentioned, the Red Flag law was created with the assumption that consumer personal information is never completely safe and continues to be abused in increasing number of identity theft cases to commit credit fraud. An adequate Red Flag compliance strategy requires a comprehensive program with many components. In order to develop, implement, manage and enforce an effective identity theft prevention program, key employees, consultants and auditors of covered companies must be educated, trained and certified in identity theft risk management and prevention techniques. Therefore, Red Flag certification of individuals as well as the identity theft prevention program is a key component of an effective strategy to ensure identity theft can be prevented at all times.
To support the efforts of the federal government and companies affected by identity theft in all areas of operations, Identity Management Institute (IMI) has introduced the Certified Red Flag Specialist (CRFS) identity theft certification course to train and certify identity theft risk management specialists and ensure they have the required skills to administer, manage and implement an identity theft prevention program which effectively identifies, detects and mitigates identity theft red flags or warning signs in all areas of identity fraud.
About Certified Red Flag Specialist (CRFS)
Although, the Red Flag Rules focus entirely on credit fraud committed at certain financial institutions and creditor organizations with "covered accounts", the Certified Red Flag Specialist (CRFS) program aims to address identity theft prevention and red flag detection in all areas of operations. CRFS is the first identity theft certification program which focuses on identity theft prevention and is fully aligned with the federal Red Flag Rules. The CRFS identity theft certification online course includes a self study guide which is divided into five areas including Red Flag regulation, program administration, program management, risk assessments, and Red Flag management. For more information about CRFS identity theft certification or group training and certification, visit the CRFS web page.
About Identity Management Institute
Identity Management Institute (IMI) is an international organization established to redefine and promote the identity management field, serve identity management professionals, increase identity risk awareness, and provide identity risk management standards, guidelines, certifications, and education. IMI is especially dedicated to identity risk management through education, training, assessment and certification including in the areas of identity theft prevention, detection and related fraud. IMI has been established to support businesses and their professionals to effectively collaborate and manage the identities of their employees and customers. As such, IMI has established certification and membership programs as well as awareness and training tools to not only educate the members but also help professionals educate their employees and customers.
Future Identity Theft Predictions
Despite many existing security laws and business efforts to protect customer information, there is no doubt that the security of consumers’ personal information will continue to be compromised affecting millions of consumers as we have become an identity obese society. This trend will lead to increased attempts of identity theft, especially in bad economic times. As such, IMI believes that the Red Flag Rules will be expanded in the future, directly or indirectly, to address other areas of increasing identity theft risks including employment identity theft, medical identity theft, social security fraud and tax fraud which will affect more organizations from a compliance standpoint. As such, demand for the leading CRFS identity theft certification and training will continue to increase to reduce billions of dollars in identity theft fraud costs and comply with the Red Flag Rules.
Chief Identity Theft Prevention Officer
Last Updated on Monday, 12 March 2012 02:07 Written by Celframe Security Team Sunday, 26 August 2012 02:42
Companies concerned with increasing identity theft risks must consider appointing a Chief Identity Theft Prevention Officer (CITPO) to design, implement and monitor organization’s efforts for reducing identity fraud risks and ensuring Red Flag compliance.
The skills required from expert professionals tasked with identity theft prevention as required under the Rule is somewhat distinct from other roles within organizations. A Chief Identity Theft Prevention Officer must design and implement an identity theft management program and operating controls to prevent and detect identity theft. To be effective, the CITPO must work with other professionals within information system (IS) security, privacy and fraud groups to address system security controls, operations controls and fraud investigations respectively.
Typically, the IS experts are concerned with system security controls, intrusions and monitoring whereas Legal and Privacy professionals are primarily concerned with authorization of private information access and disclosure. Fraud investigation units usually deal with detecting and resolving fraud cases. Therefore, it is clear that a CITPO can add additional value to the organizations by effectively preventing identity theft through a focused program and risk assessment process.
The importance of a CITPO can not be over emphasized when considering that identity theft and related fraud cases must be prevented if maximum reduction of fraud costs is desired. In addition, identity theft management practices spread across many functions including IS, Operations, Legal, Privacy and Fraud departments which must be coordinated for an effective identity theft prevention process and compliance program.
The Certified Red Flag Specialist (CRFS) program is the first identity theft prevention training and certification program closely aligned with the Red Flags Rule to support the efforts of the federal government for preventing and detecting identity theft. CRFS is developed by Identity Management Institute (IMI) to train and certify employees, consultants and auditors of covered companies as defined by the Red Flag regulation to design, implement and monitor an effective identity theft prevention program.
For questions related to identity theft prevention officer and training programs, contact Identity Management Institute.
Identity Theft Protection Services
Last Updated on Monday, 12 March 2012 01:57 Written by Celframe Security Team Thursday, 9 August 2012 10:43
By Henry Bagdasarian
Author of Identity Diet
This article is about the available identity theft protection services in the US market today, what services they provide, and whether they are useful. Although I have written about this topic in the past, I decided to write about this topic again because many times I receive emails from our blog readers about how to sign up for an identity protection service without knowing what services they need and what they are looking to sign up for, what the identity theft protection services entail and what their role might be in the entire process. If you read the Identity Diet book, you will come to understand that identity protection can not be fully outsourced to an identity theft protection service provider and that a comprehensive identity protection requires the proactive involvement of the identity owner.
Most identity theft protection services offer credit and public records monitoring services from information found in the files of government agencies and the credit reporting agencies. Notice I did not mention information directly obtained from the files of the creditor databases which means that if a credit account transaction is not reported to the credit reporting agencies, that specific transaction can not be tracked and reported to the consumers for follow-up. For example, if a credit account is opened in your name at Home Depot and used to purchase a refrigerator but the transaction is not reported by Home Depot in your credit reports, the transaction will not be detected and reported to you by the identity theft protection service provider. I also mentioned the need for consumers to follow up on reported transactions to ensure they are not unauthorized and fraudulent transactions. In most cases, the identity theft reporting companies also provide fraud assistance to their victimized members to refute and remove transactions reported on their credit reports and creditor files.
There are no specific guidelines for selecting an identity theft service provider and it all depends on consumers’ risk tolerance, risk exposure, and knowledge of best identity monitoring and detection techniques which they can reconcile to offered services in the marketplace for making an educated selection decision. Consumer knowledge of identity protection practices and awareness of identity theft risks are the most important aspects of a comprehensive identity protection plan as it certainly requires consumer involvement. Although, some identity protection components such as continuous monitoring of credit reports can be automated through the service providers, monitoring of all types of identity theft as well as identification of unauthorized transactions and monitoring of personal account transactions can not be outsourced and requires personal involvement. For example, identity theft protection services do not monitor debit or check transactions as well as criminal identity theft and medical fraud which are often more difficult to detect and recover from.
When looking for an identity theft protection service, some of the questions you should ask yourself and the service provider include what kind of credit monitoring the company provides, how it makes your life easy, whether you can do it yourself, where the company gets its information, how timely is their credit change reporting process, whether the reporting process is complete and what kind of assistance is offered to victims of identity theft. It is always very important to assess whether you can perform the offered services yourself and whether the outsourcing of some identity protection components makes sense for your situation given the cost. For example, consumers can obtain free copies of their credit reports annually from each credit reporting agency which means you can get one free copy each quarter from one of the consumer credit agencies. The last thing you want to worry about is the completeness and timeliness of the identity theft detection service for which you are paying.
The combination of your identity protection needs along with offered services and related costs should allow you to make an informed decision about which services to purchase. I remember once receiving an anti-virus software with my purchased identity monitoring and protection service the cost of which I’m sure was embedded in the total cost of the service, however, I did not need an antivirus software since I had already a well known software installed on my computers. Some services come with extra gadgets which you may not need but nevertheless end up paying for. If the services offered by a particular vendor are what you need given all available services in the marketplace and the cost is justified, then the offered identity protection services might be right for you.
Selecting an identity theft protection service provider is an important process for a couple of reasons. First, the services and related costs must be carefully assessed to make sure your money is not wasted and you receive the maximum benefit through automation and quality assistance. For example, some identity protection service providers might monitor your identity using only one source of consumer information which can save them money. In this case, companies which use multiple systems to make decisions regarding the safety status of a consumer’s identity might provide a more complete coverage. Second, the company must be reputable in good financial standing in order to continue providing improved services. To achieve the second objective, company financials must be reviewed if they are available, existing customers must be contacted if possible, online reviews must be read, Better Business Bureau information must be assessed to obtain information regarding complaints against a company, nature of the complaints and resolutions status.
It is very important to note that consumers do not need to sign up for identity protection services in most cases other than to automate parts of the identity protection process to save time, and receive resolution assistance. I would say these are the two most important reasons for outsourcing our identity protection efforts. Other than automation for timeliness of fraud detection and expert assistance for writing letters and refuting charges, most aspects of identity protection can be performed by consumers. Also as mentioned, automation alone does not eliminate consumer responsibility for following up with reported alerts by service providers.
Identity theft protection should be a proactive process rather than a reactive process. There are many steps that consumers can take to proactively monitor their identity components and detect fraud. For example, consumers can obtain and review their credit reports for free from www.annualcreditreport.com. Fraud alerts can be placed on credit reports if consumers suspect heightened risk of identity theft due to their unique circumstances. Consumers can also review their monthly account statements and promptly follow up on all unidentified transactions. Medical benefit statements must also be carefully reviewed to not only detect cases of medical identity theft but also detect and report practitioner fraud. Some financial institutions also provide online features to receive notifications regarding account transactions for verification purposes. All of these proactive steps and subsequent prompt follow up will immensely reduce the risks of identity theft and related consequences.
Some of the well known identity theft protection services include LifeLock, Debix, Identity Guard, and TrustedID, all of which I have used and reviewed in the past. If you are interested to learn more about the above mentioned services, read the identity theft protection services reviews at the bottom of this page. And if you want to learn more about the identity theft crime before selecting an identity protection service, visit the identity theft overview section of this website where you can find many articles regarding this crime.
Be identity safe
Visit the identity theft solutions page to read my reviews about identity theft protection services.