When you think about security, you probably think of it in terms of people. Certain people, especially those with a high profile, will often hire bodyguards. Similarly, buildings, especially those that entail private services, will employ bodyguards out front or some other form of security for the building. These are types of security we often think of. However, how often do we stop and think about the security of the (paper) documents in our life? You may not know it, but there are threats to your paper documents, especially if you work in an industry with more sensitive documents such as in legal, political or medical fields. So what kind of threat impacts paper documents in this day and age? Well, you will want to be wary of something called a phishing scam. What is phishing, you may ask? Well, phishing is basically an attempt to retrieve private information (including usernames, passwords, credit card info, social security numbers and other sensitive data) for mal-intended purposes. How do people use the information obtained while phishing for personal gain? Well, essentially, the criminals will obtain the information, the sensitive information, of a normal, law-abiding citizen and use it in malicious ways. Trust us, this can be really big, expensive problem.
So how does phishing impact private businesses and government offices? Well, phishers have found a way to use the emails and information they illegally obtain to access online records and data. Basically, once they have one part of your identity, they’ll go after the whole thing. In 2017 alone, there were thousands of individuals who lost control of their tax and other types of financial information. Furthermore, entire school districts were tricked into sending employee tax information online and subsequently, they put the entire districts at risk for identity theft and huge (financial) losses.
Another scary part of the whole scheme is that data breaches are now covering new ground. The actual email addresses, phone numbers and other real information that hackers and phishers steal is now being linked to false accounts. The expert hackers have used this little rouse to secure w-2’s and other financial forms that will help them obtain some illegal money.
The point of this blog is not to scare you. There are ways that you can combat the terrifying possibilities listed in the first few paragraphs. One thing you should do is send separate emails to those asking for access to secure documents. Always check out whoever is asking you for access to secure documents. Do not give your sensitive financial information (pin numbers, account numbers, card numbers, social security number, etc) easily. You may also be interested in a secure archive service. Furthermore, regarding old hard drives and paper documents, you will want to find a professional shredding service. If you are looking to make sure your business or organization is foolproof from phishers, contact Shred With Us right now.