The company official slipped Ron Houston, of Boise, an application that included a background screening authorization form.
The form asked for all the requisite details needed to steal a persons identity: name, address, drivers license number, date of birth, and Social Security.
Ive done a few job applications in my lifetime, says Houston. I even did one this complete for HP, when I worked there, but this seemed a bit extreme.
Background checks, while becoming more common, can't be done without the applicants permission. In addition, if an employer chooses not to hire an applicant because of information in the background check, they're required to tell the job seeker and give the report preparers name. Job seekers can get a free copy of the report as well, under the law.
I did a lengthy interview by phone, and, of course, filled out everything they asked me to, he says. And, now Im hoping I didnt lose my identity.
Keeping Houstons information secure is part of a companys responsibility. There are penalties and fines should the information leak out. Identity theft is an enormous problem, but there are a number of steps you can take to secure your personal information.
BBB encourages people to ask questions of those who collect their personal information. Dont be intimidated into saying no when someone asks for it even when it comes to a job application.
Over half of identity theft victims can trace the theft to something that was stolen from their possession.
A good deal of identity theft happens by thieves going through trash barrels or dumpsters. Even the smallest business can afford an inexpensive paper shredder. Make sure you use yours to destroy customer or employee records.
So heres the first rule: If you dont need it, shred it responsibly. Better Business Bureau is urging businesses and residents alike to take advantage of BBBs Secure Your ID Day featuring free, on-site shredding from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 19 at College of Western Idaho, Micron Center for Professional Technical Education, 5725 E. Franklin Road, Nampa.
Businesses, do you know how to protect your customers data and privacy? Learn everything you need to know with BBBs Data Security Made Simpler" at www.bbb.org/data-security/
More than 40 BBBs nationwide offer free, on-site shredding to consumers and businesses on this day. Dont know what to shred and what to keep?
Heres a quick run-down:
Keep for three years: bank statements, expired insurance policies, employment applications, and more
Keep for seven years: invoices, canceled stock certificates, payroll records, withholding statements, and more
Keep permanently: deeds, mortgages, tax returns, audit reports, insurance records, legal correspondence, property records, and more
Check out our full Records Retention Schedule online for more details.
Robb Hicken: 947-2115