Breaches Happen: What YOU can do to protect your personal information.

As long as hackers can make money selling your personal information, breaches will happen. Organizations do what they can to prevent them, but nothing is 100% secure.

The good news is that there are things you can do to lessen the chances of your information ending up in the wrong hands. The better news? IDShield has you covered! Are you signed up?

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there have been more than 1,000 data breaches reported this year. You trust the organizations you do business with to protect your personal information, and 80 percent of surveyed executives say their company has developed policies and procedures to mitigate security risks.

However, hackers are smart and they can move quickly. They also exploit employees’ willingness to trust that an email from an executive or third-party vendor is legitimate, unlocking a treasure trove of valuable information and putting customers at risk of fraud and identity theft.

When you hear of a major breach, your first thoughts are about how you might be affected. This is only natural and there is no way to predict when a breach may happen. However, there are ongoing, proactive steps you can take to protect your information, and help you quickly recognize when you may be at risk.

Limit your information sharing. If someone asks for your Social Security number, ask them why they need it, how they secure records, and what happens if you don’t provide it. Don’t include your full name, birth date, email address and mobile phone number on public social media profiles.

When in doubt, don’t click. Think twice before clicking on a link in any email or text message. Even if the message appears to be from someone you know and trust, hackers have gotten very good at making phishing attempts look legitimate.

Check online banking and credit accounts regularly. You can quickly detect fraudulent charges or notice suspicious activity.

Don’t ignore snail mail. Did you receive a credit card for which you didn’t apply? A collection notice for an account you don’t have? These are identity theft red flags. Also, review Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statements from your medical insurance provider to verify that the listed services/products were received by you or a family member covered by your plan.

Check your credit reports. Ongoing credit monitoring will alert you when something new is reported to the credit bureau file that it is monitoring. However, credit reports should still be reviewed at least annually. Visit or call the Annual Credit Report Request Service at 877-322-8228 to get credit reports from all three reporting bureaus at no cost.

Review your Social Security Earnings and Benefits Statement. Look for errors in your annual income. A difference in what is recorded and what you actually earned could be a sign of employment-related identity theft. To order a statement, call 800.772.1213 or go to

Do you have Identity Theft Protection? Outstaffing offers employees a Legal Protection plan, composed of two components: LegalShield and IDShield.  Sign up for one, or both! Learn more, or sign up here.

Global Fraud & Risk Report, Annual Edition 2016/17, Kroll

By Debbie Sparks Employee News