Tag Archives: identity theft

Identity Theft: Are Your Employees at Risk?

Identity theft is a hot topic these days and something that affects countless individuals. In fact, risk management consultant, Jim Crump reports that “There are over 40,000 new cases being reported every single day. There were 50 million cases in the last five years and 14.4 million in 2014 alone.”

While many businesses go to great lengths to keep customer information secure, what about employee information? Let’s discuss some ways that employee identity theft can adversely affect your business and the steps you can take to prevent it.

 

Laws Regarding Confidential Employee Information

Due to the large volume of cases that are reported each year, there has been a push from congress and many state legislatures to create laws to protect both consumers and employees from becoming victims of identity theft. Two specific laws that deal with identity theft are the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Both of these laws require employers to properly dispose of information and ensure that no unauthorized parties are able to gain access to it. In addition, there appears to be an overarching pattern of courts holding employers to a higher level of accountability in terms of protecting employee information.

 

What Happens When an Employee is a Victim of Identity Theft?

There are three main issues that typically arise when an employee is a victim of identity theft. First, it can lead to out-of-pocket expenses and hurt individuals financially. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission found that “Half of victims experience out-of-pocket expenses, and 10 percent end up paying $1,500 or more.” Second, sorting everything out is often a time-consuming process with 10 percent of victims spending at least 55 hours to do so. Third, it creates a lot of headaches and stress, which can take a mental and physical toll.

Not only does this negatively impact your employees, but it can hurt your business in the following ways:

  • You can get hit with costly fines of up to $2,500 per infraction if identity theft is due to your negligence.
  • Employees will usually have to take time off to resolve the situation, which translates into lost time and diminished productivity.
  • Because of the added stress, it can hurt your employees’ effectiveness at work.
  • It may create a rift between you and your employees if they know the issue stemmed from your negligence.

 

Ways to Prevent Identity Theft

While there’s no way to completely eliminate employee identity theft from happening, there are several measures you can take to prevent it. For starters, you can perform background checks on any individuals who will be handling sensitive employee data, which can reduce the threat of a situation arising internally. Next, you can create a data removal policy so that information will be properly discarded once it becomes obsolete.

When it comes to managing electronic information, you should use highly secure software that has features like data encryption, user privilege parameters and network intrusion detection. In terms of physical paper containing employee information, you should ensure that it’s kept in a highly secure location and under lock and key at all times.

 

Employee identity theft is no laughing matter and can wreak havoc on your employees’ lives and business operations. That’s why it’s so important to take a proactive approach and implement preventative techniques rather than waiting until disaster strikes to respond. For further information on this topic and links to other helpful resources, check out this guide from the IRS.

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RMI Partners With MetLife to Offer Identity Theft and Personal Data Protection

Here at RMI, we’ve offered a variety of benefits packages to employers so they could meet the needs of their employees and use it as leverage to attract and retain top talent. Some common types of benefits include healthcare, dental, vision, life and retirement plans. But with technology being increasingly pervasive and touching nearly every corner of life, we’ve decided to add a new benefit — identity theft and personal data protection. Here are the details.

 

The Growing Need to Protect Sensitive Data

As more and more people continue to store highly sensitive data online such as personal, financial and medical information, identity theft has become a growing concern. In fact, Fox Business Reports that “a new identity theft fraud victim was hit every two seconds in America in 2013, and there were 13.1 million total victims during that year.” With data breaches being more and more commonplace, individuals are taking this concern seriously and looking for ways to keep sensitive information safe.

At RMI, we realize that identity theft and personal data information protection is a benefit that many employers are now interested in offering to their employees. That’s why we partnered up with MetLife to offer this as a benefit, which comes with comprehensive coverage.

 

Personal Information That’s Protected

The technology used monitors personal, financial, medical and even social media data to cover the full spectrum. This is much more robust than many other services that only monitor credit and fail to keep tabs on other critical areas. The Internet is continually scanned to monitor things like a person’s Social Security number, bank account and passwords to ensure that everything is secure at all times.

There’s also protection for an employee’s children, which includes warding off online predators and cyberbullies. With these types of issues being a real concern for parents these days, this kind of protection can be extremely valuable. In total, there are more than 25 data points. If a data breach occurs, it will be quickly detected and the information secured to significantly reduce any sensitive data from being leaked. With such an extensive defense system in place, it helps keep would-be cybercriminals at bay and prevent financial loss and a lot of headaches.

 

Dedicated Support

If a data breach has occurred, a person will be notified via a timely alert. They will have access to professional customer service 24/7 for around the clock assistance. There is also a $5 million service guarantee in place. This means that if an employee becomes a victim to identity theft and suffers out-of-pocket losses due to an error on MetLife’s part, they are guaranteed to be paid up to $5 million to cover the losses.

 

Cost of Coverage

Coverage is fairly affordable and can include an employee’s family members. Here’s a breakdown of the rates:

  • $15.00 Employee
  • $20.00 Employee + Child(ren)*
  • $25.00 Employee + Spouse/Domestic Partner
  • $30.00 Employee + Spouse/Domestic Partner + Child(ren)*

*Covers all eligible children. Children’s eligibility is from birth up to age 26.

With technology becoming more and more intertwined with our daily lives, identity theft and personal data protection is a type of coverage that many employees are interested in. Consequently, it’s smart to consider implementing this new benefit being offered by RMI.

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