'PII Quest' Launched To Combat ID Theft, Over $70K in Victim Loss Prevented Thus Far

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Computer forensics and e-discovery firm seeks, documents, and securely destroys vulnerable Personal Identifying Information (PII) to protect and educate community; statistics posted online.

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Using the components of the PII Quest, we hope to illustrate just how costly this can be using concrete figures, like the amount of dollars and hours victims never recover.

People often don't notice what's in plain sight, but Jones Dykstra & Associates is out to prove that what you don't see - but others do - can cost you. As part of a new undertaking called the PII Quest, the consulting team members at JD&A are opening up their eyes to the personal identifying information (PII) that surrounds them in their everyday lives, securely destroying what might have otherwise fallen into the wrong hands, and posting some visual statistics detailing their finds online.

Having stumbled over boxes of files containing social security numbers in hallways and seen used hard drives containing personal information for sale at thrift stores, Brian Dykstra, senior partner of Jones Dykstra & Associates, felt compelled help protect and educate people who unwittingly dispose of sensitive data in an insecure manner.

"Everyone knows that losing control over their PII is damaging, but few know just how much time and money it can cost you," says Jason Briody, Associate at Jones Dykstra. "Using the components of the PII Quest, we hope to illustrate just how costly this can be using concrete figures, like the amount of dollars and hours victims never recover."

There's certainly no shortage of PII out there; since 2005, the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse data breaches web site lists over 200 million reported records as having been compromised in the United States alone. Since its inception earlier this year, the PII Quest has prevented over 70 thousand dollars in possible victim damages by securely destroying vulnerable PII.

The information found during Jones Dykstra's PII Quest will be represented on their web site, using two major components:
1. The PII Chart - A running, graphical, theoretical total of the types of malicious actions that could have occurred if the PII that JD&A has discovered and securely destroyed had instead fallen into the wrong hands.
2. The Exact Value of PII - A running, numeric, theoretical total of the non-recoverable monetary and hourly loss that victims would incur if someone was to maliciously use the PII that JD&A has discovered and securely destroyed.

It should be noted that, during the Quest, the team will not deviate from the normal, everyday actions of law-abiding citizens; they will merely go about their daily lives to better illustrate just how accessible this information truly is.

"We're trying to get people to realize how damaging PII can be if it's handled improperly, and how they can better secure and dispose of their information," Dykstra states. "Even if we can prevent just a few hundred people per year from experiencing the potentially devastating consequences of fraud or identity theft, we will have accomplished our objective of fighting these crimes - right in our own backyard."

About Jones Dykstra & Associates
Jones Dykstra & Associates (JD&A) is a consulting firm specializing in computer forensics, e-discovery, incident response, and computer security training services. JD&A's team is comprised of industry-recognized experts with high-level technical certifications and government clearances. The company is based in Columbia, Maryland.

Brian Dykstra, Senior Partner
Jones Dykstra & Associates
Phone: (410) 480-7190
contact @ jonesdykstra.com


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