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Tips for Protecting the College Bound from Identity Theft

College

There are many worries we can have when kids are off to college, but identity theft doesn’t occur to us something that we should be concerned about. After all, college kids generally don’t have credit, so why would they become targets?

The fact is, people in their twenties make up 20 percent of all identity theft victims, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Their empty credit history is just what identity thieves are looking for–a blank slate means easy credit approvals!

How Does Identity Theft Occur in College? Five Problem Areas and Solutions

  1. Shared spaces

Dorms can be crowded, shared spaces that rely on the trust of roommates. Even if new roomies can seem like friends, the risk of theft is always there. In addition, a single floor of any dorm can house hundred of students who can easily gain access to dorm rooms when they are vacant. Stolen items are bad enough, but ID information can be copied and put back without a student every knowing his or her privacy has been compromised.

Solution: Use an inexpensive safe or even get a safety deposit box at the bank  for Social Security card, birth certificate and other documents you may need, but don’t need to keep around.

  1. Internet purchases

Everyday purchases online is common to most, but for college students the risk of Wi-Fi hacking on campus is increased as identity thieves tap into unsecure Wi-Fi signals to gain access to online credit card transactions. Identity thieves rely on the stats, which indicate that almost 30 percent of college students ignore their checking account and credit card balances.

Solution: Check credit card statements regularly for fraudulent charges.

  1. Too many credit card applications

Credit card companies know college students need money and immediately begin the direct mail campaigns that offer attractive introductory offers targeting college students. Often recipients will toss these applications unshredded into the trash. In fact 49 percent of today’s college students receive frequent applications for credit cards, and 30 percent of those college students throw the applications away in their original condition – that is, with all the personal information intact.

Solution: Keep a dorm shredder. The best shredders for dorms are compact, powerful and can easily shred credit card applications, stapled and paper clipped documents and even credit cards and DVDs.  See Top Dorm Shredders For College Students.

  1. Taking care of campus documentation

Too often college and university campuses rely on Social Security numbers to identify students. This means that college paperwork, student loan documents and other information provided to and from the college can contain confidential information.

Solution:  Shred all unnecessary documents. Even if you are not sure that the paperwork contains confidential information or not, using your dorm shredder to destroy it can take only seconds and leaves you with peace of mind.

  1. Keeping electronic screen info private

Shoulder surfing, the technique of peeking over a shoulder to acquire information off a laptop or tablet becomes even more useful to identity thieves in crowded college libraries and cafeterias. It only takes a minute for passwords, user names and even bank account information to be snapped with a phone and used later.

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Solution: Keep tablets and laptops protected with privacy screens. Blackout privacy screens black out the side view image of the screen from either right or left while leaving the frontal view clear. This allows any student to work on electronic devices in public without worry. See the best privacy screens for college.

PrivaScreen_Laptop_Composite


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Creating a Place for Study For Back to School

Creating a quiet personalized place to study can improve discipline when it comes to homework and preparing for tests. Here’s how to create a study zone.

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A Comfortable Place

As computers become the central focus of kids homework assignments, kids, like adults, can experience the strain on eyes, hands and neck.

Make sure monitors are at the proper height and the proper distance from the eyes.

  • Sit approximately 20″ to 35” from your monitor.
  • Position the top of the monitor screen at, or slightly below eye level. Use a riser to achieve the right height
  • Use a glare filter to reduce glare, brightness and reflection.
  • Add a task light to illuminate documents and avoid shadows.

If a laptop is the computer of choice, use a laptop riser to prevent the strain that can come from typing on a laptop keyboard.

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Add a keyboard manager to the desk to ensure that regular typing of papers doesn’t become a strain on wrists and arms.

No Distractions

Schedule when a child should study. Set specific times after school when the bedroom door is closed and they can get to work.

Emphasize a no cell phone zone during the designated study period.

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Keep it Organized

Knowing where all your supplies are kept for each assignment offers a sense of well-being and accomplishment. Let kids select their own desktop organizers so that it fits their needs and feels like a personalized place of study.


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What the IT Department Is Adding To Your Office Computer

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With the growing use of company laptops, tablets and smartphones in public, many IT departments are implementing low-tech solutions for privacy protection.

Using blackout privacy filters allows computer users to clearly view the contents of their screens without having to worry about shoulder surfing. Any content viewed from any side angle is blacked out while straight-on views are perfectly clear.

Issues with other privacy filters

The lack of popularity in other privacy filters resulted from a product that was so secure that even the computer user had difficulty viewing the screen. New innovations now offer the peace of mind to conduct business in public on computer devices without concern of privacy invasion from passers-by.

Easy application

The simple and easy application of blackout privacy filters allows many IT Departments to affix them with little effort to new laptops, tablets and smartphones issued to new employees. 

Office use of privacy filters

Blackout privacy filters are also available for desktop monitors. This addresses the issue of internal spying within the workplace. Corporates spies have become adept at infiltrating a company as a new employee and using sophisticated shoulder surfing techniques to see and sometimes even record confidential information in research and development departments, who may lower their guard around other workers.

Learn more about black privacy technology

The rise in shoulder surfing as a privacy threat

A recent survey of IT professionals found that 82 percent had little to zero confidence that employees were capable of concealing their device’s screen from peeping eyes; 82 percent believed it was possible that data had already been viewed off of their screens by the wrong eyes; and 85 percent reported being able to view sensitive data on a screen that they were not supposed to be looking at.


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The Hottest Trend in Baby Shower Gifts: Clean Air?

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A gift for the baby shower can be phoned in: clothes, toys. etc.  But meaningful, heartfelt gifts can express how much you care and how much thought you put into the purchase.

A Peace of Mind Gift That Keep on Giving

When new moms are decorating the nursery, the last thought is for an air purifier. Here is the perfect gift that no one else will think of and it shows you are thinking ahead to the new baby’s healthy development.

Studies show that of all the organs, the lungs, which are not fully developed at birth, account for the most health problems among infants and young children. While they sleep, babies can be breathing dust, mold spores and dander. A spotless baby’s room does not necessarily mean clean air.

Babies breathe an average of 30-60 times a minute—that’s more than double the amount of an adult. With this greater intake of air during the early post neonatal period, the developing lungs are highly susceptible to environmental pollutants.

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Best Air Purifier For A Baby’s Room

Get a Coupon for this gift                                                                    

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Journal of an Identity Thief

Opportunity Strikes Identity theft isn’t always targeted. It often begins when an opportunity presents itself, like finding an unshredded credit card application that must have blown off of a garbage truck. What does it reveal? A name, an address and a proposed line of credit. american-express-bank-credit-card-wrinkled-paper-flip-book-direct-marketing-326823-adeevee

The Stake Out Now that I know the address, I can watch the house and find out what day they put out their garbage. If they didn’t shred this credit app, they probably have thrown away other unshredded documents that might have value. I wait until nightfall and start diving. 100_0836

A Small Prize I find an expired car insurance policy. This indicates that they might have recently switched insurance companies. I will come back over the following weeks to keep digging, but for now I can use this. 93718524

Gone Phishin’ Their phone number is on the policy. I make a call pretending to be the insurance company and thanking them for renewing their policy. The victim insists there must be some mistake, that the policy was cancelled. I apologize. I validate with their information: name, address, makes and models of cars covered. I know their policy number. I now seem completely legit. To confirm their cancellation I need their social security number…. shutterstock_dirty_payphone

Solution

By shredding everything, even documents that seem to contain nothing important, you can avoid becoming an entry in an identity thief’s diary.

130C Auto Feed Shredder

130C Auto Feed Shredder

Selecting the right shredder More About Identity Theft  Best Reviewed Shredders


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The Financial Disadvantage to Outsourced Shredding Services

 In-House Shredding Advantage

Now you can shred in-house with the same convenience, but for less! It’s hard to imagine that more convenience, increased efficiency and higher security can actually come at a lower cost. With Fellowes® AutoMax™ shredders, in-house shredding can provide time and money back to your business, boosting productivity. Shredding jobs can now be taken care of faster than having to wait for outsourced services and without the worry of confidential documents getting into the wrong hands.

Three Year Shredding Expenses

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Learn more about Auto Feed Shredding

Choose an AutoMax shredder that’s right for you: AutoMax options

Purchase An AutoMax


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The Hidden Cracks in Workplace Confidential Document Security

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You have buttoned down your IT security, so you think you can breathe easy. But hacking is about strategy, not just technology. Paper-based identity theft remains a threat, even to companies with sophisticated digital defenses. While the focus on digital security grows, identity thieves, and even corporate spies, are finding easy access to neglected physical document security.

Off-site services and security breaches

Off-site shredding services are an easy path for identity thieves. Getting into legitimate off-site shredding companies, thieves can show up at your office and wait for you to hand over your confidential documents.

On-site keeps it confidential

By maintaining on-site shredding you can ensure that private information, stays private. If the convenience of off-site services are still a consideration over security, on-site automatic shredders are the perfect choice. They make on-site security management even easier, allowing hands-free, walk-away shredding a convenience, without compromising confidential information.

Corporate spies with low-tech strategies

Corporate spies will find any possible way to get to key classified documents. If they can’t get this info through digital hacking, they can go low-tech just as easily.

Making shredding procedures a part of your office policy.

What spies are looking for, and what you should shred at the office:

Company Phone Books

Can give a hacker names and numbers of people to target and impersonate.

Organizational charts

Contain information about people who are in positions of authority within the organization.

Memos

Provide small amounts of useful information for creating authentic looking fake memos.

Policy manuals

Show hackers how secure and insecure a company really is.

Calendars

Can tell a corporate spy which employees are out of town at a particular time.

 

 Incidents of off-site shredding security breaches are showing up in the news: Document Shredding Company Employee Eyed in ID Theft Ring…Read More

 

 

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