Estimates suggest that approximately 15 million Americans have their identities used fraudulently each year, which equals roughly 7% of the adult population.
Data breaches of epic proportions are constantly making headlines. Large companies, such as Target, Yahoo, and even the federal government get hacked, and individuals across the U.S. are forced to deal with the aftermath of a stolen identity.
But while these massive attacks on corporations seem like the most threatening source of stolen information, low-tech hacks are far too common and are a major contributor to high rates of identity theft.
What is a Low-Tech Hack?
Cyber criminals that attack large organizations are usually top-tier coders with extensive skills and training. A low-tech hack, on the other hand, can lead to large amounts of data becoming compromised, and requires little more than devious motivations, a little lying, and some creativity.
Common and powerful low-tech hacking strategies include:
- Visual hacking or screen spying
- Impersonation of a legitimate source (physically, over the phone, or online)
- Email phishing schemes
An example of a low-tech hack would be receiving an email from a criminal impersonating a legitimate authority. The email will bump you to an illegitimate site or ask for personal information, such as login or bank account information. Because it seems to be coming from a legitimate source, people often give up this information easily.
Both low and high level employees have fallen for this type of trickery. If you ever receive an email asking for personal information, look over the email thoroughly, considering the signature, subject line, email address of the sender, and overall structure of the email before taking action.
Pro tip: most banks will never ask for personal information in an email, they will ask you to login to your account to update information.
How to Avoid Being a Low-Tech Hack Victim
There are several ways companies can combat low-tech hackers.
Step one is awareness. Train your employees on the different ways criminals can hack into your system or steal information. Provide office tips that will reduce risk and emphasize the importance of never releasing private business information in uncertain situations.
Document Storage Solutions
Document storage processes pertain to both physical and digital files. Both formats should be stored in restricted, and possibly encrypted, environments.
Offsite storage facilities provide cost-effective solutions if your business requires paper copies of files. Electronic document management systems offer two-factor authentication settings, encryption and redaction services, and more to secure your digital files.
Document Scanning Solutions
While its heavily contested whether digital files are safer or riskier than physical files, with the proper procedures and settings in place, digital files can be extremely secure.
If you currently store files in house in unsecured filing cabinets, consider scanning them. Scanning service providers perform the scanning work and will help you implement a safe, organized strategy for storing your new digital files.
If you’re not ready to overhaul your current document management system, increasing current security measures will greatly reduce risk. You might:
- Have employees update passwords once a month
- Restrict access to critical employees
- Use two-factor authentication settings
- Make use of redaction services
- Encrypt your data
There are a variety of ways to protect your sensitive business information. The best way to prevent potential hacks is to be aware of how they happen, and take preventative measures against them.
Take Your Document Security Strategy to the Next Level
Business owners have a lot to deal with and the last thing they need to worry about is how to handle a data breach. Record Nations helps businesses across the U.S. find customized records management solutions to meet their unique needs.