4 Ways Modern Technology Is Improving ID Verification

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | 4 Ways Modern Technology Is Improving ID Verification

The world has gone digital, and most interactions are done online. However, this has led to increased cybercrime and identity theft, which is why you need a fast and effective method to authenticate that you are dealing with the right person. Identity verification prevents money laundering and fraud, improves customers’ experience, and helps you avoid legal implications and paying hefty fines. Modern technology has improved ID verification from manual to automated processes, making authenticating identities more straightforward. Read on for four ways modern technology is enhancing ID verification.

Machine learning for ID proofing

Machine learning has improved how companies process information by automating the analytical model that backs decision-making and data analysis. The machine learning tool can be used during ID scanning to enhance accuracy when determining the authenticity of specific identity cards.

One of the major problems machine learning has helped companies resolve is the ease of authenticating worn-out identity cards. It also improves the accuracy of scanning documents under poor or low lighting conditions. Initially, a company could dismiss a real ID due to poor or low lighting or wear and tear since these documents did not pass an authentication test.

Machine learning authenticates worn-out IDs or documents checked under poor lighting by performing a visual inspection to assess the unique features of the paper in distinct locations.

Complete integration

Identity verification is crucial for most business organizations such as banks to prevent fraud. However, changing the organization’s existing central technologies to adapt to modern ID verification can be expensive. It could also result in unexpected ramifications, should the change not achieve the desired goals.

The modern identity verifications have been designed to integrate with existing company processors fully. Any compatibility issues are dealt with in the identity verification tool development phase to ensure it works immediately upon implementation.

Biometric authentication technologies

With the increase in identity theft and fraud, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, biometric authentication has become one of the most secure ways companies can verify IDs. Biometric technology relies on distinct human features such as fingerprints, voice, or iris to verify IDs, reducing identity theft significantly.

The risk of dealing with the wrong person is further eliminated as one has to pass through the system to verify their identity physically. Access to fingerprint technologies has become more straightforward as smartphones now come with facial recognition features and fingerprint scanners.

Smart identity cards

Verifying identity information when you have a vast customer or employee base that requires constant monitoring can be challenging. Modern technology has provided smart or electronic identity cards that can easily be consolidated in a digital system.

The smart identity cards are embedded with a chip that stores individual data, making ID verification easier. The electronic identity cards transmit Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) signals through the embedded chip allowing remote ID authentication.

Governments have also adopted electronic ID systems to enable citizens to access online government or social security services.


Identity verification provides a convenient way to ascertain that you are dealing with the right individual. To protect social, personal, and commercial data and avoid identity theft and fraud, invest in the above identity verifications methods propelled by the latest technology.

How to Prevent the Risk of Occupational Lung Disease (Silicosis) in Blasting

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | How to Prevent the Risk of Occupational Lung Disease (Silicosis) in BlastingCurrently, lung diseases have an increasing frequency and remain a problem of public health worldwide. The causes of lung diseases in the 21st century are directly related to the industrialization level of a country and, moreover, to the level of pollution, respectively the outdoor and indoor air pollution. Exposure to air pollutants has a substantial negative effect on human health.

In developed countries, the major components of polluted air are: nitrogen dioxide (due to combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas), ozone that can be found in the urban smog (due to the exposure of nitrogen dioxide and hydrocarbons to the solar radiation in the atmosphere), and suspended particles (solid or liquid, small-sized particles, due to industrial activity, traffic). Further, burning of biomass fuels (such as wood, vegetal and animal waste) and passive smoking are the main factors of indoor air pollution in the developing countries. Lung infections, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer are among the most common lung diseases that are caused by prolonged exposure to pollution.

It was noticed that the lung diseases occur more frequently when workers carry activities in higher risk sectors, such as: industry, mining, metal extraction, especially when labour protection laws are not followed and the workers are not properly equipped with protective equipment. Silicosis is an extremely dangerous occupational disease that occurs more often on blasting workers that operates with toxic blasting agents, such as yellow sand (silica sand). Silicosis is caused by the inhalation of very fine particles of free silica crystals (in microns, µ) which are embedded in the lung alveolar cells. As these particles are installing, they cannot be removed from the body by any type of treatment. Further, as a defensive mechanism against foreign bodies into the organism, these particles are covered by tissue, leading to the formation of multiple nodules into the lungs, that cause short breathing, other types of complications, cancer and death. To prevent the risk of silicosis, companies must be aware of the risk they take in case of non-compliance with the provisions regarding the use of non-toxic blasting agents and proper protective equipment for their workers.

The use of yellow sand (silica sand) as a blasting agent was forbidden in multiple European countries and is not recommended by professional bodies that act in the blasting field: NACE, FROSIO and SSPC, as it contains up to 90% free silica particles in the breathing air, which carries an extremely high risk for silicosis. A non-toxic blasting material contains less than 0,1% free silica in the breathing air, during blasting operations. Among non-toxic and ecological materials that are recommended for blasting operations, there are: (1) different types of slag for open space blasting (copper slag), (2) stainless steel grit and stainless steel cut wire shots, with multiple operating cycles, for blasting and shot peening the surfaces where no ferrous contamination is allowed (Aluminium, Copper, Titan surfaces), (3) angular steel grit and steel shots for fast and aggressive blasting operations in blasting cabinets, for extremely tough surfaces (granite, steel), (4) different types of corundum (white fused aluminium oxide, brown fused aluminium oxide) and red garnet for blasting where no ferrous contamination is allowed on the base surface, for open space blasting, (5) glass beads for cleaning fine instruments, in pharmaceutics and aeronautics industry.

While using non-toxic and ecological blasting agents, the lung diseases risks are decreasing further when using blasting protection equipment that is compliant with the provisions in the field. Choosing a certified blasting helmet is of major importance for the operators’ health. A blasting helmet that is in accordance with the provisions of OSHA (US) and / or ANSI offer a great protection on impact, noise and against dust during blasting operations. Further, a compliant blasting helmet provides an equal distribution of its weight on the operators’ shoulders to reduce pressure on the neck, allows a free movement of the head during operations, provides a good visibility through the observation window, and allows warming or cooling the breathing air.

Blasting equipment may endanger operators’ health if recommended maintenance is not carried out regularly. Repairs must be carried out by authorized and qualified personnel, in accordance with machine wiring diagrams, without making any kinds of changes to the functionality of the devices. Consumables, such as nozzles, blasting hose, air hose must be periodically inspected and replaced when worn.

GritSablare is national leader in providing a wide range of ecologic and non-toxic blasting materials, that contain less than 0,1% free silica sand in the breathing air: copper slag, stainless steel grit, stainless steel cut wire shots, angular steel grit, steel shots, white fused aluminium oxide, brown fused aluminium oxide, red garnet, glass beads.

Is Your Business As Safe As It Could Be?

There are a million and one things to consider when launching or about to start a new business: staffing, products, budget, salary, vacations, clients, and so much more. But, one thing that all businesses have in common is that you, as a business owner, are responsible for ensuring that your premises, your employees, and your customers are all safe. When it comes to safety, there are so many different areas to cover that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or scared about missing something. Not to fear, we’ve put together a simple guide to workplace safety for any new business. Take a look.

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | Is Your Business As Safe As It Could Be?

Clamp down on cyber security

We’ve all heard too many stories about cyber theft and ransomware, and the sad reality is that they’re still out there, and no one is safe since you never know when they’ll come after you. Hackers nowadays have tactics that allow them to access files without being detected unless you have a trained eye, which is a worrying concept, especially if you’re keeping important company information. Fortunately, there are tools that you can download and install on your computer to protect you from many types of computer intrusions. While free versions of these services are excellent, they usually only cover the most common trojans. Invest in comprehensive cyber security for the sake of your company so that it remains safe and you have one less thing to worry about.

Provide training for your staff

Your team will need training on a multitude of things to ensure they’re safe in the workplace. From extensive training on dangerous machinery to how to stay safe online, you’ll need to make a list of everything your team needs to complete – and stay on top of it too. Then there’s the matter of personal safety. Have you thought about a scenario where someone gravely injures themself or becomes unwell to the point of not breathing? What would you do? Would anyone know what to do to save that person’s life? It’s a good idea to encourage your staff to get a CPR certification online so that if the worst happens, your team has the knowledge to spring into action. You may also consider taking this too as it’s useful in all walks of life.

Equipment management

Whether you and your employees are using computers or operating large, dangerous machinery, there is always the possibility that the equipment will fail and become dangerous. Most injuries caused by machinery and equipment are caused by a lack of sufficient training, therefore make sure that all of your employees are properly trained on how to use all sorts of machinery and equipment in your business. This not only protects people from harming themselves, but it also protects you if a lawsuit arises as a result of their training. You should also make sure that your equipment maintenance management is up to date so that you can rest assured that your machinery and equipment are in good operating order. Machinery is typically serviced once a year, but if you notice any changes, have them repaired immediately to avoid any injury.

Food safety

Whether or not you’ve worked in the catering sector, you’ve almost certainly come across food safety information. The essentials, whether taught in school or by parents, are to keep your kitchen and everything in it clean at all times. If you’re running a business that will be serving food, make sure you and your employees are aware of the requirements that apply to safely storing food. This will cover the temperatures at which your food should be stored, as well as ensuring that it is kept free from any substances that could make someone sick. Read up on food safety thoroughly so that you have all of the facts and can avoid any harm.

Hazards in the workplace

Every workplace has its own set of risks. There are risks waiting around every corner, whether it’s a trailing wire that no one has thought to take out of the path or someone running with scissors. Making a handbook that you and your employees have constant access to as a reminder of safety standards that must be followed is a wonderful solution to tackle this issue. When you hire new employees, give them a copy to read and sign so they can learn all of the safety standards and so you’re protected in the event of a lawsuit. While the safety of human lives is vital, you should always consider the possibility of your business being compromised and defend it as well.

Safeguarding your team

When dealing with the general public, you’re always at risk of being attacked by an irate customer. It’s a tragic fact that 425,000 employees were verbally or physically abused by customers in 2017. Make sure you have a procedure in place to protect your employees from abuse if and when the situation occurs. Signs saying that no form of abuse would be tolerated are always a good idea to post throughout your premises. Protect your employees from injury in any way so that they can continue to do their jobs effectively.

Install silent alarms

Working in a hostile environment is something that no one should have to deal with. Employees in some roles, on the other hand, may feel threatened by a member of the public. Patients in doctor’s offices, for example, will occasionally express their dissatisfaction to the receptionist. If they don’t get what they want, they can become aggressive, and you must safeguard your employees from this type of situation, whether physically or verbally. Installing silent alarms under desks will discreetly alert the rest of the team to a problem, allowing it to be rectified without harming anyone.

Install security cameras

Someone attempting to break into your business and steal merchandise or money will always be a threat to you as a business owner. Unfortunately, you never know when someone might try to break in, so it’s a good idea to invest in security cameras and alarms so that if someone does try to rob you, you and the police will be notified as soon as the alarms go off. Security cameras might also help in catching the perpetrator. They’re also useful for making sure that everyone in your building is safe at all times.

Hire security guards

If you manage a high-risk business, such as a nightclub, you should think about hiring security guards to keep an eye on the doors and ensure that everyone is safe. Perhaps you sell high-value things and are concerned about theft or violence. Hiring security guards to keep everyone secure would not only provide you peace of mind, but it will also significantly dissuade potential robbers or attackers.

Protect personal information

Finally, we addressed cyber security before, but if you’re not careful with what you enter online, it might lead to identity theft. After you’ve set up your cyber security, you should start thinking about how you’ll protect whatever information you have on your employees. It’s possible that you have bank account information, addresses, and perhaps phone numbers recorded somewhere. Keep all of your information in a secure location, such as a physical safe or a portable hard drive that you can carry with you at all times. If you’re in the medical industry you’ll have access to your patient’s personal information. Using secure programs and plenty of security measures will help keep their information safe too. You should learn more about how to avoid identity theft and take the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe.

Personal Finance Management: What It Means Before And After You Retire

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Personal Finance|Personal Finance Management: What It Means Before And After You RetireManaging personal finances is one of the critical tasks that every adult must consider. Without effective management of what you have, or what you might have, you’ll always be struggling to make the ends meet.

However, it is noteworthy that personal finance management is not the same for everyone. Particularly, when it comes to managing finances in the present, for the future.

So, how to do it the right way?

When You’re Working…

When you’re young and employed, you can take up much more than you think. To put this into perspective, in younger years you have surplus energy and time to put into strengthening your personal finances. Take a look at some of the tips below to learn how.

Invest and Save for post-retirement

Though it seems difficult, saving for retirement can help you live the life for when you’re not earning. Before you invest in any Risk Management & Insurance, however, you need to know a few things. For instance, you need to assess how much you can spend on these financial investments. In addition to this, you must also try to figure out the returns you can expect when your investments mature.

Create and Scale your Income Sources

Having a primary income source is what you need to stay sustainable. However, if you wish to save and invest for retirement, you need to grow your income. Notably, looking for a secondary income source such as rental income from real estate investments can be a good option. Likewise, you can also invest in mutual funds and reap profits. All of this secondary, or passive income, will help you support better during unlikely times.

When You’re Retired…

When you’re employed it is way easier to earn and invest, as already mentioned. However, when you’re retired, you do not have the same income sources as before. After all, that is what retirement means.

So, how do you manage your personal finances when you’re retired?

Prepare your Retirement Budget

The very first thing that you must do as soon as you retire is assessing your savings and retirement plan’s value. You need to create a budget for your day to day expenses based on the money that you have. If possible you can also think of creating a secondary income source after you retire. For example, you can start offering consultancy services. Or you can scale your rental income during your retirement years. Notably, you should create sources demanding minimal investments.

Optimize your Expenses Efficiently

This might seem a bit obvious, but believe us when we tell you that most people fail to do the same. In most cases, the retirement funds, also known as Provident Funds, are disbursed in one payment. And people usually don’t know what to do with all that money. Perhaps, they end up exhausting their funds before they know. A rather easy way to escape this tragedy is to break your expenses for day to day errands and chores. And the remaining amount can then be used for reinvestments. Thus, creating you a secondary income source too.

The Bottom Line…

Managing personal finances is all about preparing for the future that you don’t know in the present. And only with the right knowledge and skills is it possible to live out a life that you dream of, both pre- and post-retirement.

Why Employee Training is Key to Keeping Your Business Secure

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article | Why Employee Training is Key to Keeping Your Business SecureEmployee training should be central to all operations. Not only does it ensure that people are working to their full capacity and that protocols are followed, but it’s important for safety. And we’re not simply talking about the safety of the employees, but of the business as well. This is why businesses that don’t make this part a priority end up opening themselves up to so many risks. Let’s take a look at why employee training is key to keeping your business secure.

Poorly Trained Employees Make Mistakes

One of the biggest risks of having people who are not properly trained on your floor is that they’re more likely to make mistakes. This could be anything from mishandling a client’s information, or divulging important information to the wrong person. This is especially the case when it comes to IT. All it takes is for one mistake for your whole system to be compromised. The worst part is that most attacks are engineered to target employees and not the network itself.

This is why you will need to consider hiring some outside help to beef up your cybersecurity, update your team, and help you form your employees better. Managed IT services like Data Cube Systems can help you implement security measures. They also have a consulting team that can help you and your employees be more careful when exchanging information.

Poorly Trained Employees Put Themselves and Other Employees at Risk

If your goal is to limit the number of injuries on the floor, one of the best things you can do is invest heavily into training. If your employees have to handle dangerous machinery, you must make sure that they’re properly hired and trained by someone with enough expertise in your company.

Another issue with poorly trained employees is that they can end up injuring others or increasing the risk of accidents occurring. Some may not be aware of safety measures when moving around the shop floor. They might not know of the risks associated with working with certain chemical agents. This is why you need to not only train them, but make sure their formation is always up to date.

Employees Who Are Improperly Trained Could Lead to Violations

Proper training is also very important if you’re in a heavily regulated sector. We can think of sectors such as construction, but also others like the food business. Every year, thousands of restaurants get slapped with health violations, and in many cases, this is because of something an employee did. So, instead of taking unnecessary risks, make sure that you constantly update your employees on current and new regulations. Make sure that managers constantly monitor and remind employees. Also, make sure that they have an easy to access database that they can use if they forget something.

These are just some examples of how having improperly trained employees can be a liability for your business. So, make sure that you make training a focal point in your organization from now on and focus on both your managers and employees.