Identity theft and privacy breaches are a growing problem. According to Craig Spiezle, Executive Director of the Online Trust Alliance, a nonprofit organization promoting security compliance, “In the past five years, over 525 million records containing sensitive personal information have been compromised, significantly undermining the foundation of consumer trust.” In 2010, there were over 400 incidents of data breaches involving over 26 million records which cost U.S. businesses over $5.3 billion.
In recognition of the problem and the need for employees to protect against ID theft and privacy invasion, Alcott HR Group now offers its employees a new, fully-managed ID early warning system, recovery and restoration solution.
The solution works as follows. Advanced ID monitoring technology proactively monitors billions of public data sources to monitor an individual’s name and identity profile. It does so without using the individual’s date of birth or social security number; another way to protect the individual’s identity. This information is monitored on a 24/7/365 basis. If a change in the individual’s profile or any suspicious activity is detected, the system prompts a quick call to verify the integrity of the change and/or activity. Alcott HR employees would receive a real time alert and notification indicating a change to their credit or non-credit profile. Employees can elect to be notified by email, telephone and/or postal mail. For online alerts, employees would log on to a secure web portal to view the alert. Remediation is the next step if a breach is uncovered.
Remediation begins with a professionally-trained recovery advocate assigned to the victim of the ID theft/privacy breach who manages the entire remediation process. All advocates are fully-qualified and knowledgeable in key legislation including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Many are Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialists (CITRMS) and/or licensed Private Investigators with an average of 17 years experience. There are advocates with bi-lingual capabilities to assist employees where English may be a second language. The advocate documents the incident, insures that all traces of fraud have been removed from the victim’s credit files and other records, disputes any challenges, maintains a thorough case file and evidence for litigation purposes, and reverses any and all fraudulent transactions through a limited Power of Attorney signed by the employee. All sensitive documents are provided to the victim via a secure account upload process.
The advocacy process continues for one year following the incident to ensure full protection. The victim has ongoing access to the advocate who also maintains contact with scheduled quarterly follow-ups. As further protection, an Identity Fraud Expense Master Policy is provided to cover any losses incurred from the ID theft.