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Smaller Organizations Also Targets

Small organizations often think they are less of a target for hacking than large companies. But small businesses are often targeted by hackers who know that their security procedures might not be as technologically advanced as those of a bigger business with more resources.

There are several steps companies of every size should take to protect their information from outside hackers and unauthorized employees. Some basic steps include creating passwords made up of words not in the dictionary and change them frequently, even if it is a hassle to do so and installing anti-virus, anti-spam and intrusion detection software that alert companies to any changes to a network.

Companies Phising thier Employees

James MacDougall, head of computer security for state agencies in South Carolina, has been phishing state employees. Andre Gould, of Continental Airlines, will do the same to employees at his company this summer.

Employees may be outraged that their bosses are trying to dupe them. But Gould and MacDougall are not trying to find fault with their employees but with their overall security architecture. Both say that employees will not be fired but given training on the phishing threat.

Identity Theft Drops but Theives aren't Giving Up

Although the overall number of identity-theft cases apparently has started to drop, many consumers and financial institutions still aren't doing enough to prevent it. The per-capita incidence of fraud has actually dipped, yet consumer anxiety has risen, with 77% of respondents in a recent survey saying they believe identity theft is on the rise.

Other persistent identity theft myths include: · The elderly as the primary victims. Seniors are less likely to be victimized compared with the general population, while young adults are twice as likely. People from 18 to 24 tend not to shred documents containing personal information or protect their computers. · Crimes are committed by strangers. Most identity thefts are committed by friends, relatives or others in close contact with victims. · Identity theft comes from the Internet. Most scams involve stolen paper mail or lost or stolen wallets, checkbooks and credit cards.

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