Data Breach vs. Identity Theft – Do you know the Difference?

The terms “data breach” and “identity theft” are unfortunately becoming a familiar part of our vocabulary these days, but do you know how the two are both different and often interconnected?

Some may think a data breach and identity theft is one and the same, but there are
distinct differences between the two. Here’s a closer look at each and how they could impact you:

A data breach is generally described as an incident involving the unauthorized or illegal viewing, access or retrieval of sensitive, protected or confidential data by an individual, application, or service. Such breaches are specifically intended to publish data to an unsecured or illegal location. Data breaches can occur either electronically or in paper format. Information that is typically the focus of a data breach includes individual names, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, intellectual property, trade secrets, passwords, medical records, and financial records, such as bank or credit card information.

Many experts believe that data breaches are occurring on a more frequent basis, whether it’s because of public pressure, the adoption of new laws calling for disclosure of breaches, or cyber thieves stepping up their activity. No matter what the reason, more personal and sensitive information is floating about in the cyber sphere than ever before.

Unfortunately, the loss of information as the result of a data breach can lead to a variety of online crimes such as identity theft, credit card fraud, and banking fraud. In the case of identity theft, a thief will use information such as a person’s Social Security number or credit card password to fraudulently pose as that individual. The results can be financially devastating; wiping out entire bank accounts, ringing up thousands of dollars in credit card expenses and a myriad of other destructive outcomes.

Breaches and the crimes that accompany them can wreak havoc not only on the customer, but also on the targeted companies and asset providers. This potential exposure is what prompts companies that have experienced a data breach to take corrective action to protect their customers; including the issuance of new credit or debit cards, the closing of exposed accounts, and opening of new accounts as a replacement. It can damage a firm’s productivity, reputation, and profitability; not to mention the possibility of facing fines, criminal or civil prosecution.

A report by Verizon security analysts titled “2015 Data Breach Investigations Report” shows that cyberattacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, while relying on long-popular techniques such as hacking and phishing. The document also reveals that many security patches that have been around for years have yet to be implemented.

As consumers, it’s almost impossible to predict or prevent a data breach from happening, but you do have some control over preventing identity theft. One effective way is to keep a close eye on credit card and bank statements. Have alerts sent to your phone or email address if a suspicious activity arises.  Immediately report any discrepancies to the proper contact, such as your bank or card provider’s fraud line or customer service center. Other preventive measures include keeping your Social Security number stationary, in a safe location (avoid carrying it with you), collecting mail promptly, and safeguarding PINs and passwords. In the end, the best protector of your personal and sensitive information is You.

What do I get for Dad? – Fathers Day Trends and Gifts

According to the National Retail Federation, 75%of people who plan to purchase Father’s Day gifts will spend an average of $115.57 this year. Father’s Day sales will reach an estimated $12.7 billion for 2015. This is great news for both retailers and shoppers, since retailers will be competing for a share of the market. Most people are slightly uncertain what to get Dad this year and are often surprised to learn what gifts will matter most

Top Gifts for Dad

Gifts of liquor, a day of golfing, and fishing accessories are all on the list of the things that most dads feel make the ideal gift. Fortunately, there are a variety of gifts that range from very expensive to free or nearly free, making it possible to give a meaningful Father’s Day gift without spending a lot of money.

  • Grills and tools– Fathers who want to combine family time with a good meal love the idea of cooking on the grill. Grills and outdoor cooking accessories are included in the most popular gifts for Dad.

 

  • Sporting tickets– Whether you are paying for a special event on television or giving Dad tickets to his favorite sporting event, the chances are good that a sports-fanatic will be impressed with your choice.

 

  • Family time – Since Dad spends so much of his time working, having the ability to spend a day with family can be the best and least expensive Father’s Day gift of all. This is a great way to provide Dad with a gift he will love without breaking the bank.

 

  • Some of the Usual– Surprisingly enough, Dad still loves the more traditional dress shirt and tie combination as a gift; this may be ideal for teens who have a limited budget.

 

  • The freebies – There are plenty of ways to make Dad feel special this year without spending a dime. Consider doing his chores for him, like mowing the lawn, painting a room, or fixing his computer.

 

  • Gift cards – When all else fails, family members can invest in gift cards that allow Dad to decide what gift he treasures most.

 
Categories of Spending on Father’s Day

You might be surprised to discover that spending on home improvement and gardening supplies is estimated to reach a staggering $710 million this Father’s Day season. Additionally, more than $600 million will be spent on new tools or appliances.

Other interesting statistics show that books and CDs’ will realize sales of more than $500 million, while tablets and smartphones will reach approximately $1.6 billion. Kids with sports-loving dads will purchase more than $660 million in sporting goods and other leisure items.

Convenience is a Big Deal

Millions of dollars will be spent this year on finding the ideal Father’s Day gift. Consumers are savvier than ever and Today’s shopper will likely turn to the Internet to research a product, make price comparisons, and many will complete their purchases online.

Whether you plan to spend $5, $500, or somewhere in between, one of the most important and sought-after Father’s Day gifts this year is time with family members.

Happy Fathers Day!

Savings 101: For New Graduates

Got graduation day dough? Here’s what you can do:

Money is the #1 gift for new graduates. According to a study done by Hallmark, 95% of the people surveyed saw money as an appropriate gift for High School and College graduates; amounts ranging from $20-$50(+). In the US, about $5 billion goes to new graduates and 58% of that is in cash. Unless you studied accounting or finance before graduation, you may not know all the great ways you can put your money to good use for later.

Consider this as a crash course in money management – Savings 101: For New Graduates! Regardless of how much money you’ve received, here are some ways to consider delegating portions of those grad dollars:

  • Checking, Savings and CDs: This is the first option you’ll want to consider utilizing. A good way to take advantage of Grad Day dollars is to place at least 60% of the total into either a checking/savings account or into a Certificate of Deposit.

Why? And what’s the difference? – Placing money into a Checking or Savings account allows you to gain interest on the amount deposited. You may withdraw any amount at any time; often with the added convenience of an ATM/Debit card on a Checking account. However, because Savings accounts aren’t meant to be frequent-transaction accounts as Checking accounts are, there’s a limit to the number of withdrawal or transfers you can make.

On the other hand, CDs allow you to put a certain amount of money into an account for a fixed period of time, but there is usually a penalty if you make withdrawals before the term ends.  When the term does end and CD reaches Maturity, you’ll receive your initial deposit plus newly earned interest.

  • Debt – For College Grads: There is a 6-Month grace period after you graduate before student loan bills begin to arrive. Consider setting aside a portion of your Grad dollars to take care of the first payment. This amount can also be added to your overall checking/savings plan so that you may earn interest on it in the meantime.  This way, your first bill is ready to be paid, 6-Months ahead of schedule!
  • Apartments, Dorms and Gas: For graduates continuing their education – Be sure to set aside a portion of your money for your dorm. The late night pizza and early morning coffee can add up quickly! For commuters, gas money is an essential expense to consider planning ahead for, and using some grad dollars is a good start.For those entering the workforce – Now would be a good opportunity to set aside some money for housing. If you are living at home, you can begin saving up for that first apartment or a home of your own.

For those already in their own living space, consider using this portion to accommodate for loan       payments and other expenses that are sure to arise will be helpful – Prepare for a rainy day!

  • Books, Supplies and Professional Attire: Grads continuing their education – consider setting aside a portion for upcoming school supplies: Books, laptops, etc. They can get very expensive, very quickly.For those entering the workforce– Using a portion of your Grad dollars for a new or updated professional wardrobe may be beneficial and can aid you during those key interviews and networking events.
  • Celebrate! Last, but certainly not least, congratulations on your diploma! Take a portion of your well earned money as a reward for all your hard work – Enjoy it!

Congratulations to all the Graduates of 2015!!

We wish you all the best.

– Bank5 Connect