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Identity Protection (Part 4)

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What do you do if your efforts to protect your identity have seemingly failed and you find indications that your identity has been compromised? What steps do you need to take immediately and how do you mitigate the effects of stolen identity? To answer these questions, we will explore a few things that are extremely important to have in place prior to the failure of identity protection strategies. Taking a few proactive steps now can make the process of identity recovery much easier later. Caution against having the “it couldn’t happen to me” syndrome.

One of the first things that you must do if you feel someone is attacking your identity is to change all your passwords that are related to sensitive data. These passwords include those associated with your bank accounts, credit cards, email accounts, retirement accounts, investments accounts, online shopping sites, etc. To do this thoroughly and quickly, it is advisable to have a spreadsheet that you securely store that has these accounts listed so you don’t forget anything that is important to protect your identity. On the spreadsheet, you don’t have to write out your complete user names and passwords, but just enough to remind you what they are. The proactive part is creating this sheet and keeping it up to date.

Another important first step in protecting your identity against a compromise is to contact your financial, credit, and other institutions that store your personal information and inform them of the theft. They can stop the loss, but they can’t help you protect your identity against these attacks unless you quickly inform them. They will quickly deactivate your cards and credentials, and then provide you with new account numbers, credit cards, and other items. Although protecting your identity is most important to you, it is also in their best interest. After these first steps are done, it is advisable to contact consultants that specialize in these situations, but make sure you get referrals from trusted sources.

We will see you next week here at The O. We want to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

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Sean Crain is founder and CEO of Orion Security Solutions (OSS). Prior to starting OSS, Sean spent over eight years with the U.S. Department of State as a Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Officer working in nearly 40 countries on 6 continents around the world including Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Switzerland, Indonesia, Australia, Cambodia, Austria, Germany, Poland, Kenya, Uganda, Egypt, Brazil, Peru, and Columbia.

He received advanced training in the techniques and methodologies of counter intelligence and anti-terrorism in order to carry out responsibilities which included designing, installing, and maintaining state-of-the-art security solutions to protect national security information, U.S Embassies and other sensitive U.S. facilities, and diplomatic personnel, including U.S. Presidents and Secretaries of State. Sean was also called upon to design and implement security protocols and systems which included video surveillance, intruder detection, access controls, locks, perimeter security, and assessments. He also played an integral role in writing the U.S. Department of State security policies for post communications centers, controlled access areas, and building management systems in U.S. Embassies, U.S. Consulates, and inter-agency facilities worldwide.