We are all just numbers now, but maybe there is a better way.
Today all commerce is ecommerce. Your identity is a series of numbers:
- Social security number
- Driving license number
- Income statement
- Bank account numbers
- Credit card numbers
- Date of birth
- Mothers maiden name
- The name of your favorite pet
- Your passwords to Facebook, LinkedIn, cloud storage, email etc.
- Your home and work addresses
- Your phone numbers
- Your favorite food
- The name of your schools
With that information, anyone can become you – and that information and much more exists on your computer, on your phone, in the databases of dozens of companies, and in files that may already have been stolen.
Companies that collect and track this data for a living have been compromised. Recently one such company announced that it had been hacked and had lost this type of data for as many as 143 million US citizens, as well as citizens of other countries.
The questions you are probably asking right now are these:
How can this happen?
How can this be prevented from happening again?
What can I do to protect my identify from further risk?
These are not easy questions to answer but let me take a stab.
Firstly, it’s clear that the finance industry needs to find ways of not relying on just the data that is available online, but to always require some form of physical verification before accepting an identity. Many standards and regulatory groups around the world already have this goal in their sights.
In fact, many US citizens will be quite surprised to learn that virtually everywhere else in the world already has rules in place to significantly increase the security around transactions that far exceed the systems used in the USA. These include some very basic physical security such as having staff in shops bring the POS devices (card reader) to the consumers as opposed to taking your credit card to the POS device.
This has the effect of ensuring you never lose contact with your cards, removing many of the ways card numbers are stolen. Also, the concept of PIN numbers for transactions is mandatory outside the USA, and levels of biometric data are also being used to confirm identities. But behind the scenes, a lot of new technology is also being used to confirm identities for online as well as in-person transactions to ensure that people are who they say they are.
How can you be vigilant against attacks on your identity?
Many companies now offer services that track any requests for information on your credit, to verify that any requests to leverage your identity are confirmed by you. Some credit card companies will automatically text you the details on any transactions you make, so you can decline anything that wasn’t from you.
But what can you do today to stop data being stolen from your computer? The answer is to implement an Advanced Endpoint Protection (AEP) Solution that will stop any known malicious code from reaching your computer, and stop any unknown malicious code from infecting your computer. It’s important to do both. Detection of known malware is not enough, and this is the simple reason why so many companies have become compromised.
To find out more right now visit https://enterprise.comodo.com where you can learn all about AEP, perform a simple analysis of your existing environment and even install a fully functioning trial today.