Know the Basics in Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft

Amidst the Epidemic of Costly Data Breach Incidents a Security Industry Expert Wants Consumers to Know the Basics in Protecting Themselves from Identity Theft

Co-Founder of TokenEx®, a Cloud-based Tokenization Resource, Talks Data Sensitivity Levels to Benefit Consumer Protection from Fraud

From the financially devastating Target and Nordstrom breach incidents to the recent Russian hacking invasion, where an estimated 1 billion passwords were stolen, it would seem as if no one in corporate America has been properly protecting their consumers’ data from a malicious hack.

So that average people can protect themselves from the dangers of these ramped incidents, Alex Pezold, CEO and co-founder of TokenEX, an enterprise-class, data security platform that offers virtually unlimited flexibility in how its customers can access, store and secure their company’s data to avoid a breach, says, “We have to educate consumers about the differences in types of data, including sensitivity levels and how certain combinations of it can lead to bigger issues, such as when a hacker obtains several key pieces of personally identifiable information (PII) and then is able to gain access to your bank account.”

Pezold says there is a hierarchy of data sensitivity levels that consumers must understand in order to protect themselves from the damages associated with having certain types of information stolen. Below he lists and explains the types of data you are typically asked to disclose when shopping or making a routine visit to your doctor:

Checking or savings account information: Disclosing this type of information is the most risky. If someone gets their hands on your account numbers and drains your funds, you are most likely not getting your money back.

Debit Card Information: Try to avoid debit card usage, because this carries the same implications as exposing your checking/savings account information. If someone drains you, there’s little hope for recovering your loss.

Credit Card Information: In terms of payment card information the use of credit cards tend to carry the least risk, with the consumer generally being held responsible for only the first fifty dollars of theft. Choose to pay by credit card over debit card as frequently as possible.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII): This refers to things like your full name and address and it is by far the easiest type of information for a criminal to obtain through a hack. However, it is less risky than financial data, because they will need to combine several key pieces of it to accomplish their likely goal, accessing your financial information and funds.

Health Information: Along the same lines as PII, the disclosure of health information is less risky as it’s typically only a means to an end. The criminal will need to extract several key pieces of PII from your healthcare profile in order to gain access to your finances.

All things considered, any of the data sets above are considered very sensitive and consumers should be aware that they all need to be protected.

About TokenEx: 
TokenEx was founded in 2010 by Alex Pezold and Dr. Jerald Dawkins. With the continued increase of payment card fraud and data breach incidents, they saw an opportunity to use a combination of technologies (tokenization, encryption and key management) to reduce the risk of handling payment card data for merchants and personal data for organizations (academia, healthcare, etc.) To date, TokenEx has been privately funded and received state grants in order to develop its patent-pending technology. In its short lifespan, TokenEx has already received awards for its innovation and has also been featured in a myriad of trade periodicals. For more information on the various industry sectors TokenEx services, or to sign up for a free 30-day trial, visit

Note: To interview Alex Pezold by phone or email, please contact Genevieve Malandra at 914-241-0086 ext. 26 or gmalandra(at)rlapr(dot)com.


Topic(s): payments , data security , HIPAA , PII , tokenization