Suppose you are the IT person for your favorite soccer club. Suppose your team travels all around the country—or even all around the world. Suppose some of the players on the team have large salaries that are public knowledge. As the person in charge of keeping all the information about these players safe, you know that hackers around the world are attempting to infiltrate your computer system as well as trying to compromise any digital device belonging to your players. How do you protect the personal information of the club itself as well as the data of all the players? Fortunately, while no security system is 100% impenetrable, there are a number of simple steps you can take.
Where IDs Are Most Difficult and Most Important
Let us face it, your typical well-traveled soccer star is not going to be spending a lot of time in front of a computer monitor or laptop. Fast-moving people want financial transactions, reports and apps that move as quickly as they do. They will primarily be using their smartphones for almost everything. Before they can access your team’s web presence, therefore, you want to make sure you have the latest in mobile authentication technology. There are a variety of methods to achieve this and, as the IT person, you can select what works best for you:
- QR code
- Single-use pins or passwords
- Biometrics, like voice recognition or a fingerprint
- Pattern lock
- Physical token, such as a USB insert
- Push notification on a verified device.
The Data Is Out There
As you are probably aware, there have been some significant data breaches in the last few years. Armed with some of your players’ purloined data, hackers will try diligently to find a soft spot in your team’s system and your players’ individual accounts. One of the most effective tools to keep the bad guys from accessing these accounts is with a password generator. These come from software apps that generate lengthy, indecipherable passwords and store them in such a way that only you can access them. If someone does manage to capture and use a password, the software notifies you that there has been a breach. If you choose to create your own password, the program will let you know if the one you have come up with is sufficient for your protection.
Phony Accounts Via Identity Theft
Once hackers hear about that lucrative new contract signed by your star player, they may pretend to be that player and open new accounts in his or her name. If the star has minor children, hackers will try to open accounts in the name of the children. Here are some precautions you can suggest to your players:
- Freeze their cards when not in use. Many card issuers have sites that allow you to turn the account and the cards associated with it on or off at will.
- Share what they do not retain. If someone gets a credit card offer in the mail, destroy it so no trash pirate gets it. When you are done with statements, do not trash them before you destroy them
- Players should receive their mail in a secured box to which only they have access.
Trust, But Verify
Scammers are out there, endlessly trying to dupe anyone with a bank account. How do you spot them? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has posted a list of methods scammers use to filch money from your players. Some warnings signs are:
- They are told they must act on a financial deal immediately.
- Players are told there is a problem with an account they need to clear up.
- They are told told the scammer is with an institution like their bank or the IRS.
- Players are told they need to send money in a particular way.
If you have ever watched a thrilling soccer match, you know that even the best players can occasionally be faked out. You can help them avoid this fate in their financial lives.