ITC: Thank you for sharing your time and congratulations on your recent run in the Boston marathon. When it comes to personal security and identity theft you are the authority for education and prevention. You're published in a multitude of international magazines and multiple TV appearances how did you get started in the security industry?
RS: I started off in my early teens, having been bullied and a victim of a multiple attack situation. As a victim, I began to meet many young women who were assaulted. I started a small business teaching security and selling non lethal products. Once I secured merchant status my business was hacked. From there, personal security also meant fraud prevention online too.
ITC: We know that identity theft is keeping pace with the evolution of technology, and purchasing online has become a staple of modern day commerce. Recently we’ve seen large, trusted corporations such as Target and E-bay fall victim to cyber-attacks resulting in a major data breach, compromising millions of user’s personal information. How do we detect signs that we may be victims of this and is there simple solutions to avoid becoming a victim?
RC:Protecting from new account fraud, such as unauthorized new lines of credit requires a credit freeze and identity theft protection services to reduce the risk. Otherwise account takeover involves hacking existing accounts, getting usernames and passwords. Protecting yourself here involves good password management, antivirus, antispyware and a firewall. Also keep your OS and browsers updated.
ITC: What level of protection do you think a consumer should expect from any company, when handing over their personal information? In light of these recent cyber-attacks, do you believe these large organizations have some level of culpability?
RC: They do, and they are. They don’t want a data breach any more than the consumer does. They generally do everything they can to protect themselves and when they make a mistake, its often catastrophic.
ITC: You wrote a book called “99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen”, it's been downloaded over 50,000 times and sought after by major media outlets. Tell us a little about your book and where to find it?
RC: 99 THINGS YOU WISH YOU KNEW BEFORE® YOUR IDENTITY WAS STOLEN proactively organizes, simplifies, and demystifies the entire issue of identity theft and computer fraud into bite size chunks to make you, your family, employees and small business safe and secure.
Learn the difference between Scareware, Ransomware and Spyware Understand what is a Black Hat, Cracker, Script-kiddie and Hacktivist Know how to protect your identity online and in the physical world.
Available on Amazon.
ITC: If there is one golden rule about personal security you would share with our audience; what would that be?
RC: Recognize “it” can happen to you and be proactive to protect yourself. Don’t wait until something bad happens to put systems in place.