Our goal is to be your resource for information security. This week, we encourage you to be wary of trusting the number that comes up on caller ID and also be aware someone may be using your number to get through caller id security checks. There are plenty of websites and tools that allow you to spoof them. But the bigger problem is phone systems that believe the caller ID. An example is voicemail — if it thinks the call is coming from you it can be set up to bypass your security code. Not worried about someone finding out that your friends are changing the time of their dinner party? Some banks and credit card companies use caller id as a security check. It makes it much easier for someone else to get your information after they have passed this basic check.
Regarding your cell phone, currently only Verizon absolutely requires password access for voicemail—so if you don’t have Verizon, make sure you take the steps to set up the password system on your own.
Regarding banking and credit cards, ask you bank what the policies are and let them know you’d rather sacrifice ease of access for the increased security.
The bottom line is no one cares more about your security than you, so you need to be your own best watchdog. Keep an eye on activity in all accounts and regularly check your credit reports. Remember you can request a free credit report once per year from each of the three credit reporting agencies.
When it comes to document security, the best defense is a good offense—use an on-site shredding service—it is the most secure (you witness the shredding in your parking lot), easiest (no worries about sorting through staples, paperclips etc), and most environmentally sound option around (all paper is recycled!). More information at www.hvshred.com