Analyzing the Identity Crime Climate

New research reveals the current consumer sentiment surrounding identity crime threats. We Divide Identity Crimes into three distinct areas:

  • The theft or misplacement of information that can be used to identify you as an individual.
  • The theft and misuse of a victim’s existing accounts, primarily financial accounts.
  • The theft of an individual’s Personally Identifiable Information (PII) to create new accounts under the victim’s name.

Lost/Stolen PII Identity Fraud Identity Theft

As a leader in identity protection partnerships, we break down these findings to uncover the best practices for implementing your own value-add identity protection program.

History of Identity Crimes

It was a record year for fraud in 2016. According to Javelin Strategy & Research, 35.2 million Americans fell victim to an identity crime. That’s a new identity crime victim every second. Of particular importance was the peak in overall fraud incidence rates, which affected 15.4 million consumers. While progress has been made in the fight against identity crimes; including the introduction of EMV technology – these efforts have simply redirected criminals to other fraud methods.

Rise of Identity Crimes

The rise of identity crimes can be attributed to three primary drivers:

  • Rising data breach incidents
  • A thriving black market for PII
  • Shifting fraud patterns

In 2016, 76% of Americans had been the victim of a data breach.

Protective Fraud Prevention

In recent years, proactive fraud prevention measures have taken the spotlight, with EMV being the poster child of these efforts. While EMV aims to keep payment cards safe from skimming and cloning (the theft and fraudulent use of card data), this nation-wide effort only diverted criminals to other methods. Soon after the U.S. rollout of EMV, new account fraud (identity theft) and account takeover rates began to rise. In 2016, new account fraud losses topped $3.6 billion. Both crimes take far longer and are far costlier to repair than credit or checking account fraud.

Americans earn an A+ in Awareness but Lack Appropriate Protection

Almost a quarter of our respondents have had their phone, wallet or laptop stolen and 17.7% of them were unable to recover their stolen device. And it’s no surprise, that 27% of consumers have already been the victim of identity theft. Data shows 74% worry their personal information will be compromised. The truth of the matter is that once information is out of their control, it’s gone forever. A single year of post breach identity protection does little to safeguard consumers. 46% of all identity theft victims were victimized multiple times – 15% experienced it three or more times. These individuals needed comprehensive, long-term protection.

The DIY Approach

Independent identity theft resolution, without the help of an identity protection service provider, requires numerous parties to be involved in clearing the victim’s name. On average victims dedicate 18 hours resolving the crime.

Hours to Resolve
Javelin Strategy & Research, 2017

Market Opportunities

Trusted providers must step in where breach solutions fall short. While consumer preferences say “protect me,” their actions often fall short due to a lack of viable sources. Many of these users receive complimentary post-breach services. These services can often be riddled with problems and lackluster customer service, as breached companies have little time or capital to invest into superior protection products.

Still, consumers want identity protection – just the right kind. More than half of consumers believe identity protection is important, but want to receive it as a benefit from a trusted provider. The need for superior protection presents a major opportunity for companies with existing relationships. Promoting an identity protection program can ignite engagement, loyalty and satisfaction

Program Best Practices

Seven Best Practices for Launching an Effective Identity Theft Protection Program

  1. Know Your Culture
    What makes sense for your organization? Look to your own strengths to understand how an identity protection program can cohesively fit into your existing offerings and image.
  2. Align Your Organizational Goals
    What’s driving the demand for identity protection? Whether you hope to engage, retain or even incentivize action with identity protection – your goals should always lead the way.
  3. Assess Consumer Demographics
    Consumer tastes are never cut and dry. Investigate the preferences of your desired demographic to implement a truly action-worthy protection program.
  4. Find a Trusted Partner in Protection
    With expert guidance, world-class support and a focus on your goals – an identity protection partnership acts as an extension of your brand and brings more than just a new product to the table.
  5. Pair the Right Products and Processes
    Choose products from an industry leader that follows the latest compliance and security protocols. Back these with proven processes such as secure data transfer and streamlined implementation.
  6. Practice Clear Communication
    Back your program with effective communication tools. These can include ads, fliers, educational handouts, a dedicated website, emails and training to help spread the word.
  7. Always Analyze
    Review program results and compare it to your initial goals. Revisit your analytics often and make changes as needed.

Results Happen When You Protect What’s Really Important

As criminals evolve, with the rise in technology and the birth of the connected consumer, identity theft protection must evolve as well.

The consumer data in the EZShield 2017 Identity Crime Report is based on information collected in a random sample of 1,203 individuals. This research consisted of an online quantitative survey conducted on August 22, 2016. Respondents were over the age of 18 with varying household income levels and resided in the United States.

At EZShield, we have a multitude of products to protect against identity crimes. We’re proud to exemplify the program best practices as the leader in identity protection partnerships. Our award-winning products are trusted by more than 15 million consumers and small businesses through a network of over 2,000 trusted partners. Our success lies in the comprehensive, partner-focused approach we take. From our always serving, never selling customer service appeal to our expert strategy insights and analysis – EZShield can help propel your organization’s identity protection program to new heights.

EZ Shield - Secure Your Identity

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To experience the partner difference for yourself, speak to a representative today.

Talk to your The Unland Companies representative to learn how to better manage workers compensation costs.

Employee Retention

company retention

It costs nearly 20 percent of an employee’s annual salary to replace a current employee. If you are experiencing high turnover, chances are you are experiencing high losses as well. The costs of reviewing applications, processing candidates, conducting interviews, training and purchasing equipment for new hires aren’t only monetary—they also cost time and lost productivity.

Given the high cost of losing an employee, retention should be a top priority for every organization. If you do not already have a retention strategy, now is the time to make one. The first step in curbing turnover is figuring out why employees are leaving.

Why Employees Leave

Employees leave organizations for a variety of reasons, depending on their unique circumstances. However, there are some common reasons that may help determine the best retention strategy for your organization. Below are some of the most common reasons employees leave:

  • Stagnation—Employees are often looking for career and personal growth. If they have no upward mobility at your company, they may look for it elsewhere.
  • Pay—Compensation needs to be competitive to attract the best talent. Likewise, good pay is needed to retain top talent.
  • Workplace culture—Expectedly, co-workers matter to employees. If they feel ostracized or marginalized by co-workers (or management), they will want to leave that environment.
  • Better opportunities—Like with stagnation, employees leave when they believe they have better prospects elsewhere. This could be due to a higher-paying position or simply a job more aligned with their interests.

How to Retain Employees

Retention strategies are not universal. It is possible that techniques and strategies that work for some organizations will not work for yours. This means you need to analyze why your employees are leaving and strategize how to combat those reasons.

Exit interviews are a great way to analyze why employees are leaving. During exit interviews, managers ask questions to employees who are on their way out of the company. Questions should be related to the employees’ time with the company, such as what they enjoyed, what they disliked and what prompted their resignation. Exit interviews will only be useful with employees who resign or leave voluntarily, not those who have been terminated.

Depending on the responses from the exit interviews, you can begin crafting a retention strategy. For instance, if a main catalyst for employee turnover is a lack of upward mobility, think about how to change that. It could mean creating new roles or, if roles already exist, making a clear guide for career pathing at the organization.

Creating a retention strategy does not need to be solely reactive. Consider creating a survey to gauge employee satisfaction with the company. Include questions about what people like and what they do not like about their job.

Summary

There is no hard and fast rule for successful employee retention. Creating a retention strategy for your organization requires you to analyze both your company and its industry. Contact The Unland Companies for more information on retention and for materials to help you craft your strategy.

Get a handle on workers’ compensation costs

For the unprepared, workers’ compensation (WC) issues can be both confusing and costly. Fortunately for employers, there are ways to actively engage WC issues to influence their outcomes.

Through management controls and active involvement in the WC process, your organization can effectively influence related costs. To do so you will have to establish a number of your own processes that guide decision making throughout your organization.

Through management controls and active involvement in the WC process, your organization can effectively influence-related costs. To do so you will have to establish a number of your own processes that guide decision making throughout your organization.

Areas requiring WC management can be divided into three main categories. These categories include facets that may range from the simple to the complex, but as a whole, address vital issues that can negatively influence WC costs in your company.

Workplace Safety Means Fewer Claims

Simply put, reducing claims reduces costs. Establishing a safety-minded culture throughout every level of your company is essential to keeping workers injury-free. However, establishing such a culture isn’t an overnight solution. To be successful, an ongoing commitment to safety must be made. Such a commitment must be supported by management and given the necessary resources to succeed.

Developing comprehensive safety policies for employees builds a firm foundation for your safety culture to grow. Such policies also encourage OSHA compliance, further improving your safety efforts while helping you avoid costly fines.

Mitigate Loss after an Injury

Unfortunately, even with all the right programs in place, it is still possible for accidents to happen. When a workplace incident occurs, how you respond can greatly influence the outcome of the claim. Prompt claim reporting is essential to keeping costs down. It is also important to have a designated injury management coordinator, someone who can supervise open claims and work with both employees and medical personnel to facilitate the timely recovery.

The longer an employee is out of work the more expensive his or her claim will be. Return-to-work programs that allow injured employees to come back to work at a limited capacity during the recovery process are one of the most effective tools business owners have to reduce the severity of a claim.

Managing Your Mod

Insurers use what is known as an experience modification factor, or mod, to calculate the premiums you pay for workers’ compensation coverage. By managing your exposures and promoting safety it is possible to manage your mod and decrease your premium rates.

Like a good safety program, controlling your mod is an ongoing process. To reap the benefits of lower premiums you will have to keep in regular contact with your insurance provider to ensure they have the most accurate data to use in their calculations.

Talk to your The Unland Companies representative to learn how to better manage workers compensation costs.

 

Cyber Risks & Liabilities Newsletter

When a data breach or other cyber event occurs, the damages can be significant, often resulting in lawsuits, fines and serious financial losses. In order for organizations to truly protect themselves from cyber risks, corporate boards must play an active role and ask 5 main questions.

Learn about the 5 cyber risk questions every board should ask and how cyber insurance may benefit your organization.

 

Download the newsletter: Cyber Risks & Liabilities Newsletter

HR Toolkit

This toolkit explores successful recruiting techniques and suggests best practices for your organization. Included within are walk-through guides, potential interview questions, sample forms and much more. Download here: HR Toolkit

 

Worried about the Equifax breach?

 

You and/or your employees may be worried about the latest high-profile breach to hit the news. But remember, if you’re a Deluxe Provent® partner, you already have the protection tools needed: award-winning ID theft and fraud protection services.

 

Security incidents like Equifax’s recent data breach remind us that protecting sensitive information is more important than ever. Deluxe works with EZShield® to bring award-winning services* to help secure and monitor your employees’ personal and financial information. If employees are victimized by an identity theft crime or other breach event, our service works to restore their identity. This is a good time to remind your employees of Unland’s identity theft protection program you offer as part of your employee benefits package.

 

Of course, if you haven’t already signed up with Unland to provide Deluxe Provent services to the people at your business or organization, there is no time like the present. Identify theft and fraud protection services are occupying an ever more important space in the benefits world.

 

Learn how to navigate the breach

We’ve created a tool for you to share within your organization to help customers navigate this most recent breach and show them the value of identity protection.

 

Download tool

For additional information about your Provent program, email deluxefinancialservices@deluxe.com and type “Provent” in the subject line.

 

*2013, 2015, 2016 Best Overall Identity Protection Services Leader award by JAVELIN https://www.ezshield.com/javelin-awards/

 

Benefits Buzz: Senate Rejects ACA Repeal Efforts

In the early morning hours of July 28, 2017, members of the U.S. Senate voted 49-51 to reject a “skinny” version of a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), called the Health Care Freedom Act (HCFA).

This was the final vote of the Senate’s 20-hour debate period, and effectively ended the Republicans’ current efforts to repeal and replace the ACA. However, the skinny repeal bill may be reintroduced at some point in the future.

What did the HCFA propose?

Similar to the American Health Care Act and the Better Care Reconciliation Act, the HCFA would repeal the ACA’s individual and employer mandate penalties, effective Dec. 31, 2015. However, the employer mandate repeal would only be effective through 2024.

In addition, the ACA’s reporting requirements under Sections 6055 and 6056 would remain intact.

The HCFA would have also:

  • Extended the moratorium on the medical devices excise tax.
  • Increased the contribution limit for health savings accounts up to the maximum out-of-pocket limits allowed by law for high deductible health plans.
  • Amended the ACA’s existing Section 1332 State Innovation Waivers, added stricter requirements for the Department of Health and Human Services in approving waivers, and extended waivers to eight years (instead of five), with unlimited renewals.

What are the next steps for employers?

Because the Senate was unable to pass any ACA repeal or replacement bill, the ACA remains current law, and employers must continue to comply with all applicable ACA provisions.

Following the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated that Republicans now intend to focus on other legislative issues, although they remain committed to repealing the ACA.

Updated Form I-9 Required Beginning Sept. 18

On July 17, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, issued an updated version of Form I-9: Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). Under federal law, every employer that recruits, refers for a fee or hires an individual for employment in the United States must complete a Form I-9.

The updated form replaces a version that was issued in 2016. Employers may continue using the 2016 form until Sept. 17, 2017. Exclusive use of the updated form is expected by Sept. 18, 2017. The new form expires on Aug. 31, 2019.

The updated Form I-9 includes revisions to the instructions and to the list of acceptable documents, but does not include substantive revisions for completing the Form I-9. Visit the USCIS website for more information regarding USCIS or the new Form I-9.

DID YOU KNOW?

On July 28, 2017, the Department of Treasury announced that it will be shutting down the my Retirement Account (myRA) program. The program was put in place by former President Barack Obama as a means to help those who did not have access to a retirement account at work to save for retirement.

Jovita Carranza, the United States Treasurer, explained that the program is being discontinued because it cost too much compared to the demand for the accounts.

For more information, please see the Department of Treasury’s myRA press release announcement.