The Tony Steuer Podcast

Get Ready with Dana Mantilia: Protecting Your Identity

November 20, 2020 Tony Steuer
The Tony Steuer Podcast
Get Ready with Dana Mantilia: Protecting Your Identity
Chapters
The Tony Steuer Podcast
Get Ready with Dana Mantilia: Protecting Your Identity
Nov 20, 2020
Tony Steuer

“We need to stop over sharing on social media. Every time we’re sharing something, it’s a piece of your personal information.” - Dana Mantilia

In this episode of Get Ready, I spoke with Dana Mantilia, the founder of Identity Protection Planning about the importance of protecting your identity. Dana shared about how people can identify and protect themselves from identity theft.  We also discussed the importance of why it’s important to have regularly monitor your identity.

Bio: Dana is the founder of Identity Protection Planning. Dana takes a different approach to cyber security. Instead of once a year, boring training that makes employees want to poke their eyes out, she helps create a workplace culture that embraces a positive cyber security culture. Dana also speaks to audiences large and small about how people can protect themselves, their families and their homes against cyber crimes. 

Show Notes Transcript

“We need to stop over sharing on social media. Every time we’re sharing something, it’s a piece of your personal information.” - Dana Mantilia

In this episode of Get Ready, I spoke with Dana Mantilia, the founder of Identity Protection Planning about the importance of protecting your identity. Dana shared about how people can identify and protect themselves from identity theft.  We also discussed the importance of why it’s important to have regularly monitor your identity.

Bio: Dana is the founder of Identity Protection Planning. Dana takes a different approach to cyber security. Instead of once a year, boring training that makes employees want to poke their eyes out, she helps create a workplace culture that embraces a positive cyber security culture. Dana also speaks to audiences large and small about how people can protect themselves, their families and their homes against cyber crimes. 

Speaker 1:

Welcome

Speaker 2:

To the get ready with Tony stir podcast. I'm pleased to be joined today by Dana Kelly . Dana is the founder of identity protection planet . Dana takes a different approach to cybersecurity instead of just once a year boring training that makes employees want to poke their eyes out. She helps create a workplace culture that embraces a positive cybersecurity culture. Dina also speaks to audiences, large and small about how people can protect themselves, their families and their homes against cyber crimes . Dana , welcome to get ready. Thank you for joining me today. Thank you for having me. Yeah, it's a pleasure. I can't wait to learn more about you and what you do. So, you know, good place to always start is if you can share a little bit about yourself and how you got started in cybersecurity .

Speaker 3:

Okay, great. So my name is Dana [inaudible] and , uh, I've been in this cyber world now for about three, three and a half years. And how I actually got involved in it was I had an insurance agency and , uh , wanted to offer identity theft protection to our clients. And we couldn't really find a platform that was B to B , then B to C. So got together with a software company in California and we created a product. Then after we did that , uh , we created a co-branding opportunity for other financial advisors, insurance agents, employers, anybody who has a group of people that they wanted to offer identity theft protection too . And so then they would get a co-branded website and then they can offer to their clients, direct them to their, their personalized , um, website that they have. So I did that and while this was all going on, I realized that there really needs to be a lot of education with identity theft and cyber crimes because people really are not as aware of it as you'd think it's a very reactive right now. And I think unfortunately over the next three to five years, it's going to have to become more and more. We're going to have to really start focusing on this because it's only going to get worse, which is the sad part, but the good part is we can kind of be proactive and help, help ourselves and help our families and help our coworkers and you know, all that kind of stuff. So , um, I started doing videos. That's where I was going with this. I started doing videos on LinkedIn a few years ago and had no traction at all in the beginning. And then finally it had kind of picked up a little bit and now I have a little audience that , uh, people, you know, I break down the topics into very, very digestible little bite-size pieces and make one very specific topic per video, try to add a little humor to it. And , um, but, but they learned something and that they remember it.

Speaker 2:

Oh , fantastic. Yeah. I think people digest things in those bite-size pieces. Uh , the one thing you said that resonates with me is also I have insurance background , um, is that I think if I do entity theft protection planning as sort of insurance for your entire financial life, because everything you have is at risk, if your identity is stolen.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. Yes, absolutely. And you know, people say, well, I'm really careful. I don't need to worry about that. And it would be great if , if we were really careful and didn't post anything, didn't share information, but we do. And the digital world that we live in sometimes requires us to share some of those information. And then the other thing is, is that the data breaches we've become so numb to data breaches and they're happening every day. And they're huge. And the problem is, is that we need, every time there's a data breach, it shouldn't be like a fire alarm going off and it's not anymore because it just happens so much. And that's all personal information that is falling into the wrong hands and they're doing the wrong thing with that information. So we can be as careful and as vigilant as possible, but when half of the equation is out of our control, there's nothing we can really do about that. That's, that's the part that I really try to hammer home to people because people do say that to me. Oh, I'm very careful I don't online shop. I don't do this. I don't do that. But you know, we're giving away so much information every single day in so many different ways that everybody's at risk.

Speaker 2:

Definitely. And I think you hit on a good point is that people get blown numb to these things when they happen so often. So that that's great. Well, can you get into , um , a little more specifically, what is identity theft?

Speaker 3:

So identity that is someone else using your personal information for something that you are not giving authorization to , uh , they could open up a credit card in your name. They could get a job, they could file for government benefits in your name. Uh, they could use your medical insurance and go get medical treatments that it happens in a wide variety of different ways that , uh, even with social media, nowadays, someone opening up and pretending that they're you on social media. And , um, it could happen a lot of different ways, I guess, is the moral of the story.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I , I found , uh, my son found that somebody had opened a Facebook account in his name. Uh, fortunately they hadn't really done anything with it, but it was kind of scary to find you , your teenager had a Facebook account that he didn't even know about.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it is . It's very scary. So ,

Speaker 2:

So , you know, how do you feel that identity theft fits into the greater financial literacy and financial education conversation?

Speaker 3:

Well, I think, you know, listen , if you are a senior and , uh, you you've retired, you've finally made it that's. Those are the poor people that are at the biggest breasts because they do have a little, little nest egg and they do sometimes fall for little trickery that somebody could be posing as somebody else. So you want to just make sure that if somebody steal your identity and do something that causes you to lose money, you want to have that insurance that you're going to get reimbursed for those, for those funds and that someone's going to be there to help you because that's the problem. When you become a victim of identity theft, nobody knows who to call, you know, who do you call? So this way, you know, you can call the restoration center. Somebody will walk you through the entire process until the whole thing is cleaned up. And it's a big peace of mind situation.

Speaker 2:

Well, that's great. And I think people need that. Um, can you tell us , um, how can people protect themselves from identity theft,

Speaker 3:

How they can protect themselves right then as well? There's a, there's a variety of ways. And these are all my little tips that I tried to, to, you know , um, give away on my videos. But one thing that we need to stop doing is oversharing on social media because we're sharing every time you're posting something, it's, it's contained some kind of personal information and those Facebook quizzes that everybody thinks were so fun to do. Again, a lot of those questions that they're asking, you know , we're going to figure out what kind of dog you'd be. If you were a dog, a lot of those questions are the same security questions that you have on your credit card accounts or your online banking accounts. So there's, that's not a coincidence. Sometimes these little quizzes are put together by identity thieves . So that's one way what we're sharing , um, online. And , uh, somebody could, you know, into data breach, get ahold of someone's social security number. And like I mentioned , they could go and file for all those benefits or get a job or whatever. There's, there's a lot of different things that people could do , uh , with identity theft.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I think people don't think about that quite often is that it's those little breadcrumbs that eventually add up that . W what do they call them? Shadow profiles. I've heard the name. I can't remember what it is.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. I don't know. I don't know what you're talking about with the shadow.

Speaker 2:

I can't remember. I think it was in a social group .

Speaker 3:

Oh, so she has social dilemma.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. How they build a profile of somebody and

Speaker 3:

Yes, yes, yes, yes . There's also called , um, uh, residual. What do they call it? I forgot it. It was , it was in the movie. I've used it as a couple of my presentations. Anyway, it talks about how you leaving little, little fingerprints about yourself, everywhere you go. And they, social media platforms know that, and they try to keep you on those sites, that their number one goal, because the longer that you're on the site, the more information they're collecting, they also say that they know us better than our , um, our spouses and our family members, which is true. Facebook said it within 150 likes, they know you better than your family. And with 300 likes, they know you better than your spouse, which is a little startling, but

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that , that, that, that is startling. And I think that really drives home your point about those little extra breadcrumbs , um, that you're leaving behind by taking those quizzes and everything else that, you know, these profiles are being built and in the hands of the wrong people, they can't be used fried , then they be calf . Um, so what is your company? Identity protection planning , um, what does it do?

Speaker 3:

So we work with , uh, it's funny, it's actually taken a big shift during COVID, but what we do is we work with companies to do educational programs, to help their employees , uh, become better cyber warriors. As I like to say. And , uh , with now with the , we all live in a zoom world, everything is a lot easier to communicate to a much bigger audience. So , um, you know, before COVID, it would be in person smaller, local, you know , kind of stuff where nowadays I can do these presentations everywhere. And I , and I have internationally all over the United States. So anyway, we do educational , um, programs, variety of different things , uh , to help people become more aware of what they should be paying attention to and give them little tips and tricks and tools to use . A lot of these tools are free. People just don't even know that they exist. So it's , it's getting that into their hands.

Speaker 2:

Well, that's fantastic. I, I think it's so needed. Um, you know, as you and I talked about, it's part of , uh , my get ready financial calendar that I think that people , uh, do, do you feel that sometimes people feel this is a one and done rather than an ongoing thing that they need to do?

Speaker 3:

Yeah. And it's Def it's definitely an ongoing thing. I mean, you can start today and you just have to keep continuing. And the one thing I was talking about is passwords and how people have the same password for every single account. And they have for a million years, that's not good. That's not good. He's going to change their passwords and have different passwords for different accounts. And the reason why that's important is let's take a data brief , for example. So let's say GrubHub is a small food delivery company, no big deal. They had a data breach, username and password taken. So let's say that you use the same email address and the same password for all of your accounts. So now that, that, that thief that, you know, cyber criminal has that information and they can just take that and go plugging them in to Facebook, to LinkedIn, to bank of America, to chase. And then eventually they may, they may be able to get into one of your accounts and that's really scary because then they could take over the account, change the password. You'll never be able to get in there again. And they could re go out to have it done some of your financial information, or even your reputational , um, information that they could be posting, things that are inappropriate or something that you would never ever say. And it looks like it's coming from you.

Speaker 2:

That is scary. Um, so as we're talking about passwords , um, does your service, or do you recommend a certain , uh , password manager? Do you recommend that people use a company like last pass, or if you have an Apple to the Apple , uh, what is it , uh , password manager.

Speaker 3:

I , if they're comfortable with it, if you're comfortable with that. Yes, that would be a very good thing to use. A lot of people are not comfortable with that, or the information is stored on the local device or in the cloud. You know, they think it's just yet another place where something could be, you know, involved in a data breach. A lot of the stuff is encrypted, but so yes, a password manager would be a good option. Another thing I like to tell people because they, they dread changing their password. And especially when you say they need to have a different password for every account. Oh my goodness. So Isaiah will come up with a passphrase, could be in any passphrase and then change the end of the phrase to whatever count you're going into. So if it was Mary had a little lamb and you're going into your LinkedIn account, you say Mary had a little lamb, LinkedIn, and then some numbers or some something you're going to remember. So now the only thing you have to remember is the passphrase. And then each of your individual accounts are going to have a different ending of the passphrase that helps people a little bit. Cause it's a little less like overwhelming. Oh my goodness. I got to go change my password for every single account. That's too much. I can't do that. So

Speaker 2:

That's a great tip. And , and that's much easier than remembering these weird alphanumeric , like , um , I have the new version of Safari and it's as Jesse's just, I mean, I'm sure they're unbreakable passwords, but it's like, I'm never going to remember it. And then I have to put it into a spreadsheet or something that of course can be hacked. So it's like, yeah , I love that suggestion of a passphrase. Cause that's something that we can all remember.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. You can personalize it. And then, you know, replace the essence with dollar signs or, you know, some sort of symbols in there somewhere where you're going to remember them and make it, fill it with the help, it'll help make it more complex.

Speaker 2:

That that's such a great tip. So who do you feel? I mean, it sounds like basically anybody and everybody would benefit from , um, identity protection planning. Would you agree or is there a certain demographic or life stage where people should think about it?

Speaker 3:

I would say everybody really is at risk and even including kids and set synthetic identity is one of the fastest growing segments of identity theft. What that is is that's when thieves are taking a real child social security number and they put it together with a fake name and a fake date of birth. And in essence, they create a completely different individual. So that social security number is no longer associated with that child. It's associated with this new synthetic identity. And they can use that for years and years and years and build upon the credit and then just dump it one day. And then chances are the poor kid isn't going to find out until maybe he's 18 and he's applying for college and alone, and then this basket's unraveled. And then, then maybe there's a pause in the, in the loan system loan process. So then they can't get alone. Now they maybe not go to college on time. So it's, that's devastating situation. So none of us want to think about that happening, but that's what happens because no, one's keeping an eye on these kids' social numbers because no one's supposed to be using them legally. So we kind of just forget about it until they're maybe going to open up their first credit card or something. So yes, everybody is definitely a victim. I mean, it could be a victim of potential.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I mean, that's what a 10 like is , as we were talking is that there is a risk for all of us that this is one of those universal risks. Like, you know, depending on where you are, is like in California, we're all at a universal risk of an earthquake and earthquake doesn't discriminate , um, or to certain segments of the population. Um , so that's really helpful information. And you know, that's really interesting about the synthetic identity. I hadn't heard that one before. There's always so much to learn. So , um, how do you feel that people can improve their financial literacy and learn about things like identity protection? What do you think it should be? Something that should be part of the education system? Where do you think we could help people learn about these types of things?

Speaker 3:

Well, I definitely think that as, as much as we could possibly all share with each other, because, you know, identity theft has been around for a long time. It's not anything new, but the whole digital aspect of things and how everything is involved in technology, everything is everywhere. Everything is out on a cloud somewhere that has exponentially skyrocketed the chances of people becoming victims. And we need to take this into consideration and there needs to be some cyber security understanding and continual learning about the , you know, the latest and the greatest it's . So that's what I'm trying to do is I'm trying to help people so that they can learn and , and become aware of the latest scam, how they can protect themselves about it. Like I had mentioned some of those free tools and tips that are out there. Uh, one of the things right now that you can run your credit for free each month with each of the different credit bureaus. Now, before COVID, you could only run at one time per year per credit Bureau. So you could, if you spaced everything out, you could kind of , you know, every few months, get a little look at, you know, your credit report, but now they have it. So you can run it every single month with each of the bureaus. So that's really good. So people can, can do that and take a look, make sure all the activity that's on there is their own activity. And if it's not, then you know, you have a problem. I just had a gentleman today, one of my videos that I did and , and , um , about running your credit and he messaged me today , said that he did, and he found out somebody was using a credit card in his name. So at least he found out, I mean , it's unfortunate that it happened, but you see bounded.

Speaker 2:

Wow. That's, that's incredible. So, you know, just as a question , um, about your service, does a service like yours include , um, access to running credit reports? Yeah .

Speaker 3:

Yes, yes it does. Yes. It does several times a year, a report and a score and it doesn't hurt your credit. People ask that all the time. Oh, what about if I pulled my credit? It wasn't going to Mar my credit. It's not, it's not that kind of a credit inquiry, so it's not , um , going to hurt your credit.

Speaker 2:

That's great. Yeah. I interviewed somebody on another show and , um , she was talking, she wrote a book is how to be a member of the 800 club , uh, you know, and what that involves getting an 800 credit score. And that was, that was pretty interesting. A lot of surprising factors in there.

Speaker 3:

Um, so

Speaker 2:

Even know , this is a question I ask everybody, what is your number one tip of being financially prepared

Speaker 3:

Financially prepared? Well, I'm not a financial advisor , but let me see from , I think everybody needs to always be living within their means. And then with, with a little, little tiny little, you know, till that they're putting some money in for a rainy day. And I think that fortunately right now, and in society in general, there's not a lot of that going on. Everybody needs to have the latest and the greatest best, and the latest and greatest that. So now maybe if nothing else, maybe COVID kind of humbled us all down a little bit to , uh, making sure that, you know, we can take care of the really important things. And so that's what I would just suggest to be living within your means.

Speaker 2:

Well , that's great. And that's really helpful. I think, you know, some of the other things that you mentioned are also , um, definitely financial preparedness tips is that I, you mentioned at the beginning of the , uh , podcast about being proactive. And I think there , that's a very valuable tip , um, that you can't play defense,

Speaker 3:

Right? Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So I'm a sports guy. So I got to bring in the sports analogies every once in a while. So , um, that's wonderful. So , uh, you know, with the podcast, outpost, you know, links to your website and everything, but can you tell people a little bit more how they can learn about you and stay in touch with you and your work ?

Speaker 3:

Sure. Yeah. Well, you can always find me on LinkedIn. I'm over there all the time. So just type in my name and make a connection request and I will connect with you and then you can follow my content on there. Uh, also though our website, which is identity protection, planning.com and send me a message that way. That's probably the two easiest ways to get in touch with me.

Speaker 2:

Well, great. Um, is there anywhere else where you're posting your videos, if people can follow your videos or is LinkedIn the best?

Speaker 3:

LinkedIn is the main one, but I have started posting them on Facebook. It's just me getting into the habit every day and making sure that I do it, or whenever I do post my videos. So they're on YouTube too, but that's not, I think very over there that I have going on, but , uh, but I'm trying to diversify, I'm trying to get myself educated on how all these platforms work, cause I'm not too savvy in that world, but I'm trying

Speaker 2:

Well, that's fantastic. It's, you know, I I've looked at , uh , some of your videos and for the people who are watching or listening to this podcast. And I would definitely recommend taking a look at some of Dana's videos. And as she mentioned is they're specific, they're short, they're straight to the point , um, of the topic at hand. Uh, so I would highly recommend , uh , checking them out. And , uh, Dana, thank you so much for , uh , joining me today on the get ready podcast. Let me you're very welcome. This was fun. Yeah, it was great. Um, appreciate it. And , uh, for everybody out there, please remember to subscribe to the, get ready with Tony story podcast until next time.