Preventing identity theft with Kwaku Kyei

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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A recent champion of cyber education in Prince Albert, Kwaku Kyei latest free public presentation covered the issue of identity theft -- an issue he said “has become very common.”

 

KJK Cybertech Security manager Kwaku Kyei gives a presentation at the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library on Friday. 

“People are concerned, and that’s why I organized this presentation,” he said in introducing the topic to a small crowd at the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library on Friday.

“I believe (the rate of identity theft) is going to increase and increase,” he said, noting that “everything we do is computer based” -- a virtual playground for those looking to steal identities.

In 2009, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre noted 11,095 instances of identity theft that year, amounting to more than $10 million dollars.

In the United States, seven per cent of people 16 years of age and older have had their identities stolen, Kyei relayed.

It’s remarkably easy to steal a virtual identity, particularly in the faceless world of the Internet, where most everything is shared through social media.

Dumpster diving is another source of information for thieves -- as are phone scams. During his presentation, Kyei used an example of a child picking up the phone and answering questions about their father or mother.

So, what can one do to prevent their identity from being stolen -- an act that can result in a diminished credit, bank account and reputation?

“Don’t take that call,” he said of phone scammers. “What you should do is let the phone ring. When the ringing is done, phone on another line and see who it was from.”

When it comes to emails from questionable sources, “don’t open it,” he encourages.

“Take that person’s email address and put it in the Google, and it will show you if it’s a fraud.”

Sensitive documents should be shredded before thrown into a dumpster, he encourages, noting that once dumpster divers have a credit card number, a social insurance number or any number of sensitive material, they’re well on their way to ripping you off.

When it comes to online purchases, or anything online that requires the use of personal information such as a credit card, make sure the website starts with “https,” he said, noting that the “s” stands for secure.

“If you don’t do that, you are throwing your information away,” he concluded.

It all comes down to the ALERT model, he said -- an abbreviation that stands for “Ask yourself, Listen carefully, Education yourself, Refuse to be pressured or Report, and Tell someone or the authorities.”

Kyei is a certified fraud examiner and a recent public figure in Prince Albert, best known for giving presentations on cyber bullying and other cybercrimes.

He’s also started up a training course for security guards, with additional teachings centered on preparing students to become private investigators. The first round of classes was scheduled to begin on Saturday.

To contact Kyei for information on the classes or on upcoming presentations, phone 306-314-2057 or email kjkcybertech@gmail.com

Organizations: John M. Cuelenaere Public Library, Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Google Prince Albert

Geographic location: United States

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