Protecting Personal Information
Identity theft has become one of the most flagrant issues facing society today. If you haven’t been a victim yourself, you likely know or have heard of someone who has. It’s a problem not only for the individuals who are victimized but also for the companies and services with whom they interact.
The magnitude of identity theft is astounding. Some five percent of adults in the USA alone — about 10 million — are victimized annually. Their total losses are approximately $50 billion. Add to that another $50 billion that companies spend each year to try to prevent identity theft.
Programs, rules and regulations are being invoked nationwide to prevent identity theft. Of note is that of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which requires organizations handling the “personal information” of any Massachusetts resident to implement specific safeguards to protect that information against identity theft and other misuse. The Massachusetts data-security regulation (201 CMR 17.00) requires that employees receive training annually on administrative, technical and physical safeguards for the handling of such information.
The Cintas, 25–minute online Protecting Personal Information Training Course uses the Massachusetts regulation as a framework to provide the fundamental principles of protecting personal information, regardless of their state of residence. Content features pop quizzes, news clippings and real-world compliance issues that employees should learn to recognize and respond to appropriately. Topics covered in the course include:
- Identity Theft — an overview
- What kinds of information are pertinent?
- Why is information protection so important?
- Understanding and facilitating physical safeguards
- Understanding and facilitating administrative safeguards
- Understanding and facilitating technical safeguards
- What is encryption?
- The proper handling of personal information
- What to know about electronic ID and passwords
- Role of social engineering
- Recognizing security incidents