Monday, October 27, 2008

Recap of October TVCNet Meeting: Identity Theft and Business Liability

In these times of economic uncertainty, most of us think very little of protecting our identities.  Our attentions are drawn elsewhere and we overlook the fact that our identity is something of value to someone else who may not use it with the best intentions.  Even if we are conscious of protecting our identities by making sure "the bad guys" do not have access to our bank accounts or personal records, there is much more to an identity than personal / business finances or your social security number.

Aspen Morrow of Aspen Consulting & Associates spoke to the members and guests of TVCNet in a meeting on October 23rd about Identity Theft and Business Liability. According to Aspen, in regards to the individual, it doesn't matter how bad your background is. Your identity has value and is worth money on the black market.  If you believe that your identity is of very little value to an ID thief you are sadly mistaken.

Over half of all ID theft occurs in the workplace and 70% of that theft is by low-tech means.  It's as simple as someone stealing a file or copying personal information of an unsuspecting victim.  In all, there are five common types of ID theft:

  1. Driver's license numbers
  2. Social Security numbers
  3. Medical records
  4. Character or criminal records
  5. Financial
25% of all ID theft is financial, but according to Aspen, that can easily be corrected.  The worst kind of ID theft is the one that damages a person's character possibly resulting in a false criminal record.  So how does this impact consultants?  In our profession, character is everything and if your character is damaged in any way it can have a significant financial impact on you and your career.

ID theft has the potential to be very costly to you and your consulting business in terms of time and money if you are ever a victim.  The best advice Aspen gave during her presentation - if you suspect ID theft, have a background check ran on yourself.  The sooner you correct any discrepancies, the easier it is to correct them.

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