Friday, September 12, 2008

When do I get my super-human powers installed?

So, while working for The Company, every year we're required to take an online course called "Corporate Responsibilities." Ok, it's several online courses called that with different suffix numbers like in college (101, 102, 104.. not sure where 103 went). Anyways, today I took that course.

During the course of the course, there's "mini checkpoints" to make sure you're understanding what's going on. One of them was to identify twenty things wrong with a picture in accordance to the "clear desk policy" The Company has in place. Below is the answer:

Let's start with the #12. A CD is left in the computer. How am I supposed to know that? I'm not Superman with X-Ray vision. Besides, I don't think X-Ray vision works in pictures. And, for that matter, what if it's Duran Duran's Greatest Hits? Is that a violation of the Clean Desk Policy?

Then we'll move up to #3 -- My eyes aren't as great as they used to be, but I can't exactly tell that's a bank statement. Much less a checkbook for #4.

#6 -- That doesn't look like a briefcase. More like a laptop bag. Person has a desktop though (with a CD in the computer). I wonder if there's a CD in the laptop in the laptop bag....

#8 -- I only see one cell phone...

#11 -- Yeah, applications are left open. But, we're supposed to LOCK the computer. That is the real problem with that one. And, is it me, or does it look like they have some sort of chat conversation open? Nice use of The Company's time, dufus. No wonder we had sites like GMail and Facebook and Evite blocked!

#13 -- That sticky note can say anything -- like "Remember to go to the bathroom so you don't wet yourself again."

#15 -- There's a hallway over there? I'm glad we can pan and zoom static images to find all these problems... and interact with the environment. And I can't really see much, but it kinda looks like the window is from a higher floor. Are we protecting our information from window washers? Or maybe Superman....

#16 -- I'll bypass the obvious hallway comment and go onto the window. The contents of the whiteboard are IMPOSSIBLE to see from the window... Unless you're Superman... and can control your X-Ray vision to go JUST far enough in the whiteboard to see the marker on the otherside... then read it backwards.

So, in short, The Company is protecting it's information from super villians! Not sure when I stepped into the world of DC Comics.

That being said, I love our policy on keys:

To protect our keys, we need to lock the keys in a key box or cabinet and take THAT key with us. But, really... shouldn't we be locking THAT key, too? TECHNICALLY that key is a key used to secure assets. Sounds like some sort of endless battle... unless.... COMBINATION LOCKS! (Let me guess... the combination has to be stored inside the case?)

And, apparently I'm supposed to look extremely surprised to know I have some sort of role to maintain a safe workplace. I love that picture.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Just like when James Woods took over Peter Griffin's life

Yesterday, I received the notice that several Countrywide customers received -- that a (now former) employee sold unauthorized personally identifiable information (PII), that could include SSN, Address, Account Information, and other really bad things.

The best part about it -- the IDIOT sold SSN's for approximately 2.5 cents each.

Working for The Company, I have to take regular online courses about things such as that deal with privacy matters. I realize that many companies have sensitive PII, and it scares me. In order to get a financial account, you need to provide your SSN. You also need to provide this to set up a number of your utilities. They perform a credit check to determine your worthiness and how much you pay in fees. The lower your credit score, the higher the fees.

Now, I'm going to take a quick digression on this -- If you have a low credit score, you're going to pay more. Let's think about this for a minute -- Who generally has lower credit scores? The people who don't make enough to pay their bills on time. So, we're going to penalize these people who are already barely making ends meet and charging them more -- providing an endless cycle of debt. God bless the American Way.

So, I've started to determine who has my information -- I've come up with the following:
  • Mortgage Company
  • Gas Company
  • Electric Company (and not in the "HEY YOU GUYS!!" kinda way)
  • My Bank(s)
  • My Credit Card holder(s)
  • Sallie Mae
  • My School(s)
  • US Government
  • Dr. Hottie's Office
  • My Dentist's Office
  • My Chiropractor
  • The Company (and other previous employers)
  • The DMV
  • The Credit Reporting Bureaus
Pretty much anyone I pay on any regular basis. And, I'm pretty sure it's greatly incomplete!

Seems like a larger number of organizations than I realized at first have information that can be used for identity theft. I can't believe it's apparently so easy to take over someone's identity.

So, today, I have the exciting task of contacting the three major credit reporting bureaus and placing Fraud Alerts on my files. I don't know the full impacts this is going to have, but I can imagine it's not going to be a great thing.