Strategic Futurists; Value Systems Specialists

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How Will You Prove You Are Who You Say You Are?

Thursday 22 October 2009

Here's a little something I'd like you to think about. Are you really who you say you are? And, how do I know that I can trust you? Identity Theft is one of the most debilitating crimes a person can suffer for it strips away the very core of your own belief system and that of society's belief in you as a 'real' person. Many don't recover from the impact for years and yet we are very slack when it comes to protecting our identities and some businesses are doing very little to help us.

McDonalds in Perth have allowed their customers to be scammed of millions of dollars as a result of an organised theft using replacement scanners for EFTPOS cards in their stores.  The dodgy devices were replaced and people who used the cards at various McDonalds stores in Perth discovered later that those devices enabled thieves to gain access to card details and pin numbers - to date an estimated $4 million dollars in thefts has occured according to the WA Police.

But the challenge gets deeper because now those details may have enabled criminals to build up the '100 Points' target of identity that Banks and other businesses use to open accounts.  And let me ask you this - when was the last time you asked your local Video Store to clean out its old records of 'you'?  Are you aware of what their data security measures are like?  Do you shred those unasked for spam letters from credit card suppliers that have a good chunk of your personal information pre-printed or do you simply throw them out?

We need to be far more vigilant with the variety of personal information, how we use our credit cards and Direct Debit cards and we cannot rely on organisations where we shop, to have all their security bases covered.  Sure the McDonalds case seems pretty lax, but at the end of the day, criminals will always look to discover weaknesses in how companies collect, use and store our personal information.  Your identity is at stake - prove to me you are who you say you are


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