- Companies that proactively train their employees and inform their customers about identity theft protection not only significantly lower the chances of a costly data breach
John Sileo, America’s Top Identity Theft Speaker
Q. John, how did you start speaking on identity theft?
A. Several years ago, my business partner used my identity to embezzle $300,000 from our clients.
One of the clients eventually caught on, thought I’d done it and spent the next two years trying to put me in jail. The liabilities destroyed my business. The two-year criminal case sucked the life right out of me and the financial troubles just about destroyed my marriage. All because I failed to protect my identity.
At some point I woke up and decided that I had a responsibility to keep this from happening to other people, other companies.
The fact that identity theft quickly became America’s fastest growing crime, I was frequently asked to speak. In no time, that responsibility became a passion, and I’ve been a full-time identity theft speaker ever since.
Q. Who are your best audiences?
A. Let me answer that at two levels. Every person with a Social Security number is at risk of identity theft, which means that nearly everyone can benefit from my presentation. One in ten households will experience identity theft this year with an average cost of recovery of $6,600 and several hundred hours.
By implementing the tools I cover in my presentation, almost all of their personal risk can be eliminated or drastically reduced. That is how it will affect your audience at a personal level.
But at another level (which entails business profitability and responsibility), organizations hire me because they need their employees or members to understand the value of the private data that they handle every day.
Whether it’s a client’s credit card number, a patient’s medical file, employee records or sensitive intellectual capital, our economy is built on information. If employees/executives/board members don’t believe in the inherent value of that information (and the resulting liabilities of collecting, storing and handling it), then we can never expect them to protect it.
When I motivate the audience to think twice about company privacy, their return on investment (by preventing a costly data breach) can literally be hundreds of times my speaking fee.
Companies that proactively train their employees and inform their customers about identity theft protection not only significantly lower the chances of a costly data breach but are delivering a level of customer service that differentiates them from their competitors.
Companies like TJX (who just had a data breach of 45 million identities) learned the hard way about the profitability of privacy. My audiences understand that before it happens.
Q. How does your audience feel when they walk out the door?
A. Motivated to protect their privacy and empowered with the tools to make it happen.
I’ve spoken at national conferences for Pfizer (technology group),
The Federal Reserve Bank, AIG, Blue Cross Blue Shield (medical identity theft), Prudential Real Estate (top 50 producers), Fifth Third Bank (best retail customers), Premier Bankcard (employee training), The Principal Financial Group (national safety week), Drury Inn Hotels (executives/managers conference), many small and mid-size financial and estate planning firms, law firms, insurance providers (client wellness events), universities (highest risk demographic) and national associations (member wellness).
Books by John Sileo