A new wave of secure document theft has been hitting both private businesses and government offices. Phishers, or online criminals, seeking out usernames, addresses, and other private info have figured out how to use emails that use actual email addresses to obtain control of online records and data. In the last year thousands of individuals tax information and other types of financial information have been taken over after security breaches using these phishing scams. Just last spring, multiple school districts were tricked into sending employee tax information via email putting whole districts at risk for identity theft. How do these scams work and what can you do to protect your online documents?
The ever-growing sophistication of online identity theft and data breaches has reached all new levels by taking over actual e-mail addresses and phone numbers and securing them to false accounts. Emails appear to be from supervisors and individuals who genuinely handle these sensitive online documents when in fact they are linked the thieves accounts. This online trickery has resulted in multiple W-2’s and other financial documents getting into the hands of these expert hackers.
To protect yourself from these phishing scams, always send a separate email to those asking for access to secure documents. If someone is requesting access to documents unexpectedly check first before allowing. Precaution safety always overrule what an email is requesting. Never give out pins or account numbers via an email unless it is already an in-place protocol and is being done over a highly secured network. The use of a secure archive service can also help to keep online documents safe and secure. Lastly, don’t make it easy for thieves by discarding old hard drives without professional shredding. For more on shredding and secure document storage, contact Shred With Us a professional shredding service.