Tag Archives: Risk

Cyveillance’s Director of Product Management to Present at Merchant Risk Council Conference

Arlington, VA (PRWEB) March 3, 2008

At the 2008 Merchant Risk Council Conference, Cyveillance’s director of product management, James Brooks will speak about recent trends in blended phishing attacks and provide best practices and processes for organizations to proactively protect themselves and their customers. With increasingly sophisticated techniques and the widespread use of malware, criminals continue to successfully exploit the Internet to commit ID theft and fraud despite increased awareness of these attacks by users. Attendees will learn about the “business” of phishing for ID theft, along with methods organizations can employ to both restore and ensure long-term consumer confidence in online commerce.


James Brooks is Director of Product Management at Cyveillance and is responsible for online threat and fraud security services. With over 14 years experience in the security industry, James possesses a thorough understanding of security technologies, network and Internet environments, and Internet intelligence strategies. Previously, James worked at NTT/Verio and Genuity, and also held various technical positions with U.S. Naval Intelligence.


Data Protection Demands New Thinking: Learn To Avoid Whitehall Data Fiascos Or Risk Penalties

Ely, England (PRWEB) July 12, 2008

The only way to avoid further disastrous losses of individuals’ sensitive private information is to immediately commence a comprehensive overhaul of the way Central Government staff manage confidential personal information, warns leading UK compliance specialist IT Governance (http://www.itgovernance.co.uk/). The loss of millions of child benefit records by HM Revenue and Customs, and the mislaying of laptops and security dossiers by MoD staff, are part of the same problem – institutional failures to define and implement basic compliance procedures in line with the requirements of the Data Protection Act (DPA).

However, it is not just major Whitehall departments at fault – the recent IT Governance Best Practice Report, ‘Data breaches: Trends, costs and best practices’ (http://www.itgovernance.co.uk/products/1615), indicates that there is a culture of complacency in the commercial sector as well, which also has a lax attitude to protection of client information and data-handling procedures.

Complying with the requirements of the DPA – the core UK legislation around data protection – is a key challenge for Whitehall departments and commercial organisations alike. A much tougher regulatory regime is now coming into place, which builds on the major fines recently levelled by the Financial Services Authority, such as the

Study Proves American Teens are at Serious Risk

New York, NY (PRWEB) January 21, 2009

The highly anticipated results of a country-wide yearlong study on teenagers and internet dangers were announced yesterday. The study, which was ordered by 49 state attorneys general, has been met with serious media buzz- as many found the findings both telling and alarming. While most U.S adults have known for years that teens face potentially dangerous situations every time they log on, the attorney general research project demonstrated that the risks presented to children online are, in fact, frighteningly similar to those they will face in the real world.

Emily Steel’s January Wall Street Journal article, “No Easy Answer for Protecting Kids Online” highlights this concerning trend among websites frequented by teenagers. Abuse, bullying, hatred and pornography crowd the internet; and no where are they more prevalent, or more dangerous, than on sites geared towards teens. According to the internet danger study, there is a serious debate over who should carry the brunt of the burden for keeping kids safe. It is a bitter tug of war between parental activist groups and web technology companies.

“Clearly, the main responsibility is on parents. (But) because technology companies are providing this gathering space and encouraging children to come, they have a duty to put in place technologies that can help protect kids.”

Attorney General Roy Cooper, North Carolina (WSJ)

So the majority of the responsibility for keeping children safe falls squarely where it always has: on a parent’s shoulders. But as today’s economic crisis forces more parents to put in extra time at work, while chat and networking websites continue to dominate the teenage social scene, there has to be a place for adults to turn for help.

As traditional internet safety and watch dog services continually fall short of their promises, concerned parents and activists have begun to seek out a more comprehensive program. Research, including the 2007-2008 attorney general study, has shown the most effective approach to be that of a fully managed internet filtering service. A parent guided, expert controlled, customizable safety net that gives adults more control, while taking some of the burden from them and keeping them informed.

Leading safety blogs like Block-Porn.Org agree with the study’s assessment, calling for new options in the battle for children’s online safety. With literally hundreds of new pornography, hatred, and gambling sites appearing every week, even the most diligent parent is likely to miss something. A recent Block- Porn blog post introduced parents to a new type of parental control: the artificial intelligence method.

No longer relegated to science fiction novels, AI is revolutionizing the way parents control what comes into their homes. These fully managed internet services, like the immensely popular My Internet Doorman (http://www.myinternetdoorman.com), let parents set the rules and boundaries, and then the experts take over the implementation process. In other words, they pick up where other services fall short. Instead of cookie cutter filters that block everything, all the time, or the easily bypassed password system, these managed services give parents the final say. Allowing certain things, blocking others- even shutting down the internet completely during certain hours provides more peace of mind for worried adults, while still allowing internet exploration for curious teens.

Internet dangers are not going anywhere. In fact, if this study is any indication, the situation is only going to get worse. The key, at least for now, is to keep the lines of communication open, while finding a service that can help you manage what your child is exposed to.


Risk Management is Part of Life for Psychotherapists

Jacksonville, FL (Vocus) August 1, 2009

Professional Development Resources, RiskManagementEducationOnline has released a new continuing education course that details the real risks of practicing in mental health professions, along with strategies for anticipating and minimizing risks. Areas of special emphasis include the impact of managed care and the complex interaction of new HIPAA regulations with legal and ethical considerations. The six-hour course, which is available online, makes the case that there are real risks associated with independent practice, but that most risky situations can be managed with thoughtful clinical decision making and careful attention to detail in day-to-day clinical practice.

The average mental health practitioner in independent practice who belongs to a managed care organization (MCO) must perform a balancing act, attempting to attend to and satisfy the requirements of half a dozen entities. These include the practitioners own profession (code of ethics), state licensure laws and rules, federal regulations (HIPAA privacy laws), the MCOs limitations and guidelines, local standards of practice, and a variety of state and national child abuse and duty to protect laws. Sometimes the requirements are inconsistent or even in conflict with each other, and the clinician must unravel the tangles in order to discern the ethical and legal course of action.

It may seem ironic that those who practice in the helping professions have to be so aware of practicing defensively. Most of the people who complete lengthy training programs to become psychotherapists do so because of a desire to help people. Yet, over the last 10 years, there has been a major increase in the number of lawsuits, licensing board actions, and ethics complaints against mental health practitioners. How has this need for defensive practice come about?

There seem to be a number of contributing factors. Changes in the economic system, the growth of managed care, increased federal and state regulations, advancing technology, and greater demands for oversight and accountability in clinical practice have made record keeping and communications much more complex, time consuming, and risky. Many clinicians are frustrated by the extra work they must do to satisfy the complex and sometimes contradictory demands of regulators and insurers. This CE program offers practical take-home tools for minimizing risk and covering ones assets, associates, and actions.

One cannot insure against or prevent all risks. That is why it is called risk management, and not risk prevention, says Ed Zuckerman, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of the course. There are very real emotional, personal, and financial costs involved in licensing board complaints and malpractice suits. Risk management involves reducing the potential impacts by reducing the levels of threat, vulnerability, and likelihood at the lowest cost or effort.

One of the unique aspects of this course is that it gives the reader the opportunity to estimate his or her own individual risk of being the target of a licensing board complaint or malpractice suit. Based on the real occurrence of complaints and lawsuits brought against individuals in each particular profession, the author guides the reader through a mathematical probability sequence that results in a realistic risk self-assessment. The reader can then implement specific strategies designed to reduce his or her individual risk.

I have never seen such an inclusive collection of rational strategies, thoughtful analyses, and ready-to-use tools brought together in one place before, says Leo Christie, PhD, CEO of Professional Development Resources. Independent practice has become more risky, and many clinicians have not adapted. What are the real-life risks? What constitutes standard of care? How long do we have to keep clinical records? How can we be sure that electronic records are secure and confidential? We can all learn how to protect our clients and ourselves by implementing changes that are surprisingly simple.

The new risk management course and a number of others all of which are available instantly online and can be completed any time and anywhere include:

Realistic Risk Management, (2009) 85 pages, HIPAA Help: A Compliance Manual for Psychotherapists, (2009) 263 pages, Ethics & Risk Management: Expert Tips I, (2008) 22 pages, and

Ethics & Risk Management: Expert Tips II, (2009) 26 pages.

About Professional Development Resources, Inc.

Professional Development Resources is a Florida nonprofit educational corporation founded in 1992 by licensed marriage and family therapist Leo Christie, PhD. The company, which is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) as well as many other national and state boards has focused its efforts on making continuing education courses more efficient and widely accessible to health professionals by offering online home study coursework. Its current expanded curriculum includes a wide variety of clinical topics intended to equip health professionals to offer state-of-the art services to their clients.


Leo Christie, PhD, CEO

Professional Development Resources, Inc.




Reduce Identity Theft Risk Through Social Networks

Bethesda, MD (PRWEB) May 12, 2010

Social networks are more popular than ever, including with identity thieves. Once they retrieve ones information, its easy and fast to access everyone in a network, resulting in a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Europ Assistance USA offers the following tips to help consumers keep themselves and their networks safe from criminals.

1. Make sure your screen name and profile information do not provide information that could potentially make you vulnerable. While any one piece of information is harmless, the combination of key pieces of information about you can make it easy for a criminal to do damage (e.g. name, hometown, age, phone number).

2. When reviewing and opening links that are masked by URL shorteners, use a short URL decoder to see the actual URL, and always be sure to have the most updated browser and antivirus protection. This gives you the power to see where the short URL is linking to so you dont unwillingly click on a spoofed or malicious link.

3. Do not accept the default privacy settings on social networks. These networks objective is to grow usage and traffic so they often have default settings that allow much of your information to be available outside of your network and in online searches. Its critical to take the time to learn the ins and outs of a sites privacy settings and how to adjust yours to protect yourself.

4. Remember that once you post information online, you cant take it back. Even if you delete the information from a site, older versions exist on other computers. Post with the thought that it will live online forever and ask yourself if youre willing to have this information available to potentially anyone, forever. If not, dont post it.

5. Beware of accepting friend requests from someone you dont know personally, such as a friend of a friend. Criminals are posing as friends of your friends hoping to gain access to your network. Once they are in your network, they can learn a lot about you, which they can then use to do damage (e.g. they then send links to you which are harmful, post pictures with malicious malware in them, etc.).

6. Teach your children to use all of the same steps and tricks you do to protect yourself. Children are much more trusting online and much more open about sharing personal information. Criminals can target you through your child so limit your child’s online friends to people your child actually knows and is friendly with in real life.

7. Make sure requests you receive from people you really do know are actually from those people. Social media identity theft is growing with criminals posing as others to gain access to that persons network and information. When you get a request from a real friend, verify it. Call or email that person to confirm. Check the profile information to make sure it matches what you know about the person. Be suspicious of profiles from friends that are bare-bones with basic information.

About Europ Assistance USA

Europ Assistance USA takes care of corporate customers and employees when the unexpected happens, anywhere in the world, providing immediate support and assistance to individuals in times of emergency and distress. Leveraging its worldwide network of 38 always-open multilingual assistance centers and 410,000 partners in 208 countries, EA USA offers personalized medical travel assistance, identity theft resolution, data breach response and beneficiary assistance services to insurance companies, financial institutions, corporations and government organizations. Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, EA USA is owned by Generali and part of the Europ Assistance Group.


World-Check Shares Risk Intelligence Expertise With UK Overseas Anti-Corruption Unit

(PRWEB) May 14, 2010

London World-Check (http://www.world-check.com) Director of Threat Finance Research, John Solomon, recently concluded a three-month secondment to the Overseas Anti-Corruption Unit (OACU) at the City of London Police Economic Crime Directorate. Mr. Solomon contributed to the United Kingdoms strategic intelligence assessment on Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) as part of OACUs anti-corruption work.

Describing the partnership Detective Colin Cowan, Head of OACU, said: “This project has enabled us to identify how business, law enforcement, government departments and due diligence service providers can work together to better understand and interpret the mass of information that exists on the global threat of financial crime. Pulling together and connecting relevant information from a wide variety of sources is a tremendous challenge and something that World-Check excels at. Working with the company and the research processes by which they identify heightened risk individuals and entities meant that we were able to better understand the complexities of the due diligence process. I would like to thank John Solomon for his excellent contribution and have no doubt that we will continue to work closely in the future.”

Working under the dynamic leadership of Detective Colin Cowan and an exceptional team from across law enforcement, government and business has been extremely rewarding said Mr. Solomon. The opportunity to contribute to OACUs highly effective intelligence-led anti-corruption strategy presents the successful partnering of the private and public sector to make a positive impact in curbing illicit money flows.

World-Check is proud to work with public sector organisations in the global fight against financial and related crime. Recent activities include participation in NATOs workshop on countering the financing of terrorism; the United Nations Working group on Countering the Use of the Internet for Terrorist purposes; the World Congress on Information Technology hosted by the Dutch National Counterterrorism Coordinator to combat cyberterrorism; an invitation to attend Interpols Global Security Initiative working session; and providing the Child Exploitation and Online protection (CEOP) Centre in the UK with access to the World-Check global database of risk intelligence to assist in tracking offenders.

About World-Check

Trusted by more than 4,500 institutions in over 160 countries, including 49 of the worlds top 50 banks, World-Check offers an end-to-end solution for assessing, managing and remediating financial, regulatory and reputational risks. World-Checks global database of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) and heightened risk individuals and entities, due diligence reports, passport verification and country risk assessment tools provide the means to address the full spectrum of risk across all markets and industries. Represented across five continents, World-Checks international research team monitors emerging risks in more than 50 languages, covering over 240 countries and territories worldwide.


Income at Risk: Quarterly Unemployment Rate for People with Disabilities Climbs along with SSDI Claims, Reports Allsup

Belleville, Ill. (Vocus) October 26, 2010

During the third quarter of 2010, unemployment rates for people with disabilities climbed to their highest quarterly rate in a year and continued to outpace the unemployment rate for other workers, according to a quarterly study by Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation and Medicare plan selection services.

The Allsup Disability Study: Income at Risk shows that for the third quarter of 2010, people with disabilities experienced an unemployment rate 67.7 percent higher than people with no disabilities. Specifically, the unemployment rate for the third quarter averaged 15.6 percent for people with disabilities, compared to 9.3 percent for people with no disabilities, according to non-seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Allsup Disability Study: Income at Risk also shows that during the third quarter of 2010, the number of people with disabilities unable to work and applying for SSDI climbed to 764,902, an increase of 4.3 percent compared to third quarter 2009. Year-to-date, more than 2.25 million people have filed disability claims. Nearly 1.8 million SSDI claims are pending with an average cumulative wait time of more than 850 days, based on Allsups analysis of the Social Security disability backlog.

The number of people filing for disability claims has doubled compared to 2001, said Paul Gada, personal financial planning director for the Allsup Disability Life Planning Center. Contributing factors include both the aging population and the high unemployment rate. Some people with disabilities are never able to return to work after a layoff.

According to Gada, people applying for SSDI need to understand the importance of acting quickly to secure benefits. Someone who is qualified needs to apply as soon as possible given the backlog and to ensure they meet certain qualification restrictions, Gada said. They also need to plan financially for what likely will be a significantly reduced income.

Understanding SSDI Benefits

People unable to work due to a severe disability need to understand the specific financial resources available to them — and their families — under the SSDI program. SSDI is a mandatory, tax-funded, federal insurance program designed to provide individuals with income if they are unable to work for 12 months or longer because of a severe disability, or if they have a terminal condition.

Individuals must have paid FICA taxes to be eligible. As a result, peoples SSDI benefits are calculated using their earnings history. Because someones work history varies depending on age and life experiences — benefits can vary widely by age and gender.

Allsup outlines the following considerations when planning for the financial future:

Regular monthly income: SSDI is a regular monthly payment and usually provides annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increases (though none for 2010 or 2011).

In September, the average monthly benefit for a person qualifying for SSDI was approximately $ 1,066. But specific benefit amounts can vary greatly. For example, the average September monthly benefit for men was above average at $ 1,190, while womens monthly benefit was $ 929. Age also plays a significant factor as the chart shows below:

Age — Average Amount* (overall) — Average Amount* (male) — Average Amount* (female)

30 — $ 750 — $ 767 — $ 730

40 — $ 896 — $ 938 — $ 852

50 — $ 1,019 — $ 1,110 — $ 921

60 — $ 1,181 — $ 1,348 — $ 988

64 — $ 1,203 — $ 1,404 — $ 967

*Figures rounded to the nearest dollar.

Source: Social Security Administration, as of June 30, 2010

Spouse and dependent benefits: A spouse and dependents of someone receiving SSDI benefits also may be eligible for benefits. The average monthly benefit for a spouse in September was $ 287, with men receiving $ 239 on average, and women receiving $ 289 on average. To be eligible, the spouse (or former spouse if the marriage lasted at least 10 years) must have a child under age 16 or a child with disabilities, or be at least 62 years old. With regard to children, there are different categories of dependents and the payment amount varies. According to the SSA, the average September monthly benefit to a dependent child was $ 318.

Keep in mind that individuals can find an estimate of their benefits by examining their Social Security statement, which the Social Security Administration (SSA) mails out on an annual basis.

The SSA recently announced there will not be a COLA for a second consecutive year, so benefit amounts will continue to hold steady in 2011. There has been little fluctuation in the average monthly benefits since the start of 2009, Gada said.

In addition to monthly income and dependent benefits, SSDI also includes provisions for protecting future retirement benefits, the opportunity for extended COBRA benefits, eligibility for Medicare 24 months after a persons date of entitlement to SSDI cash benefits, as well as prescription drug coverage.

Its important that people apply as soon as they are eligible and make certain they are receiving all the benefits that apply in their circumstances, Gada emphasized.

If you have questions about SSDI eligibility for you or someone you know, please contact the Allsup Disability Evaluation Center at (800) 279-4357 for a free evaluation of your situation.

Allsup also provides free financial planning tools to help people better manage their finances while awaiting SSDI benefits at http://www.allsup.com/personal-finance . Medicare plan selection services also are available through the Allsup Medicare Advisor

Report Confirms Liquitabs Poison Risk Alert

(PRWeb UK) November 18, 2010

The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) and Macfarlan Smith, manufacturer of bittering agent Bitrex, welcome the publication of the National Poisons Information Services (NPIS) Annual Report, which this year highlights the dangers of fabric cleaning liquitabs.

Packaging for these products, also known as liquid laundry capsules, is rarely child-resistant and the plastic sachets can easily be punctured by curious children attracted by their bright colour and strange squishy texture. However liquid detergent poses a real danger if swallowed, with symptoms that can include severe vomiting and abdominal pain, drowsiness and in some reported cases the depression of the central nervous system.

The NPIS received over 600 calls from health professionals about concentrated laundry capsules in 2009-10, with most cases involving children under 5, and 80% relating to children swallowing some of the contents. In its Annual Report, published last week, the NPIS called for greater awareness of the dangers liquid laundry capsules can present.

Katrina Phillips, Chief Executive, Child Accident Prevention Trust, said:

Accidents often happen when parents are taken by surprise. This report is helpful because it warns parents that a seemingly harmless household product can pose a risk to children. And its easy to see how attractive the colour and texture of a liquitab can be to a young child. Our advice is: it takes just a few seconds to move those squidgy detergent capsules lurking under your sink to a higher cupboard, away from curious little fingers and mouths.

The addition of a bittering agent, such as Bitrex, can make household products more difficult for children to swallow. Bitrex has been added to many household products, as well as to other potential poisons such as anti-freeze and garden chemicals. However, very few liquitabs contain bittering agents like Bitrex.

Cameron Smith of Macfarlan Smith, added:

We would urge parents to look out for products carrying the Bitrex logo, any product displaying the logo has been thoroughly tested to ensure that it is almost impossible for children to swallow. We are working closely with the nations retailers to help protect as many children as possible from potentially dangerous household products.


Help Protect At Risk Populations with Due Diligence and Criminal Background Checks

Boston, MA (PRWEB) May 24, 2011

InstantCriminalChecks.com now allows ordering social security number checks and sex offender checks with criminal background checks in one single order to make it easy to protect At Risk populations. Combination-search ordering delivers robust background checking within one order, saving time and increasing the likelihood of Americans taking the time to protect at-risk populations.

Every day one can read an article about a nursing or retirement home disclosing they have hired someone with a criminal past. It is almost epidemic. State governments have growing concerns that these situations are becoming commonplace. At-risk populations really are at risk. Many people consider at-risk populations to include only the elderly but that would be a mistake. An at-risk individual maybe defined as an individual someone could easily take advantage either through physical force or deception. The at-risk population is quite large and includes the following groups:


As the economy continues to challenge the American family the percentage of dual income households continues to increase. Children are left with caregivers, both in home and at facilities. Parents do not always question the vetting of their child’s caregiver as closely as they should. Just because a facility appears modern, clean and respectable does not mean every employee that comes into contact with your child has been through a complete background check.


The disabled population, both the physical and mental, can cause a great financial strain on a family. Care giving is expensive. Low cost alternatives are often sought but everyone that may care for the disabled must be have their background checked.


As the population ages more and more individuals require greater care than they can provide for themselves. Families make the hard decision on where to place our elderly. It is not as simple a task as one might think.

One must demand a complete background check on all individuals that come into contact with at-risk populations for extended periods of times, especially if one invites caregivers into their home. Ask about background checks, how extensive they are, and what information is provided. If a company cannot answer your questions to your satisfaction, it’s time to move on. If one has the option, a background check is a fast, affordable and simple method of checking the past of any caregiver. There are a number of reports one must utilize to provide complete data for an extremely important decision. They should include the following:

Income at Risk: Unemployment Rates Rise Sharply for People with Disabilities, Allsup Finds

Belleville, Ill. (PRWEB) October 20, 2011

The unemployment rate for people with disabilities has climbed for the fourth consecutive quarter to reach the highest rate since tracking began in 2008, according to a study by Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation and Medicare plan selection services.

The Allsup Disability Study: Income at Risk shows that people with disabilities experienced an unemployment rate more than 85 percent higher than the rate for people with no disabilities for the third quarter of 2011. Specifically, the unemployment rate averaged 16.3 percent for people with disabilities, compared with 8.8 percent for people with no disabilities. These figures are based on non-seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The quarterly rate hasnt been this high since reporting of the disability unemployment rate began in the fourth quarter of 2008.

The Allsup Disability Study: Income at Risk shows that 737,468 people with disabilities applied for SSDI during the third quarter of 2011, down 3 percent from the previous quarter. Year-to-date, nearly 2.22 million people have filed disability claims, compared with nearly 2.23 million applicants by the same time last year. Since the fourth quarter of 2007, when the recession began, more than 10.8 million people have applied for SSDI. Nearly 1.8 million SSDI claims are pending with an average cumulative wait time of more than 800 days, based on Allsups analysis of the Social Security disability backlog.

Disability applications have increased significantly over the past few years, said Paul Gada, personal financial planning director for the Allsup Disability Life Planning Center. The economy is one factor, with some people with disabilities never able to return to work after a layoff. Another factor is the aging population, with most baby boomers now in their late 40s to early 60s, Gada said. The average SSDI applicant is nearly 53 years old.

Some people with disabilities who are unable to work may put off applying for SSDI, and older individuals may simply wait to age into Social Security retirement benefits. Either of these actions, however, can result in a serious financial impact, both now and in the future.

People who are qualified need to understand the SSDI process, apply as soon as possible and prepare themselves and their families for the likelihood of living on a significantly reduced income, Gada cautioned.

Understanding Social Security Disability Benefits

SSDI is a mandatory, tax-funded federal insurance program providing individuals with financial resources if they are unable to work for 12 months or longer because of a severe disability, or if they have a terminal condition. Individuals must have paid FICA taxes to be eligible. Social Security disability benefits are calculated using the persons earnings history.

Allsup outlines several financial benefits to those who qualify for SSDI: