Monday, April 30, 2018

Help Protect Your Social Security Account

Photo of a Social Security card nestled in paper money

As National Social Security Month ends, if you haven’t enrolled in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) new MySocialSecurity website, you might want to do so to keep track of your benefits and help protect your social security account. The SSA chose April, tax return deadline month, to be National Social Security Month to create awareness and to encourage us to know more about the benefits we’ve earned.

The SSA has designed the MySocialSecurity website to help you manage your benefits, and to help minimize your chances of identity theft. Previously the SSA has been sending out yearly Social Security Statements. With the creation of the MSS website, the paper statements will now be sent every 5 years instead of every year. 

The MySocialSecurity website will let you view your up-to-date Social Security statement, with estimated benefits based on your earnings history and assumptions on future earnings. You can view estimated monthly benefits from retiring at age 62, to up to the highest monthly benefit you would receive from retiring at age 70. 

You can also access your earnings history, dating back to the beginning of your career. If you see any inaccuracies, there are instructions on how to contact the SSA to correct the information on your account. Your Social Security payments are based on the 35 highest earning years of your career, indexed for inflation — another reason you’ll want to make sure your information is correct.

If you’ve lost your Social Security card, there is information on how to go about replacing it. The MySocialSecurity website has information on your account is protected, and also how to protect yourself against phishing emails. 

Enrolling in the MySocialSecurity website is a great way to keep track of your benefits, and to help you and your loved ones make the most of the Social Security benefit program.

Helpful Links:

MySocialSecurity website:

Account verification and identity protection:

How to protect yourself against phishing emails:

If You Do Only 1 Thing This Social Security Month, Do This

By Dan Caplinger, April 27, 2018, for The Motley Fool

Accurate Biometrics

Practical solutions for fingerprint collection and processing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Is biometric voting coming to the US?

Photo of biometric voting equipment

While many nations are rapidly incorporating biometrics into voting technologies, US Congress, states, and local jurisdictions are not actively supporting new biometric voting technology despite concerns of voting machine cyber tampering in the 2016 US general election.

One major concern is privacy, of course. Could votes be personally identifiable? How secure would voter information be against hacks and breaches? Security for biometric voting systems is already being field tested in many countries around the world. We benefit from all that experience. Some testing is going on in the US. For example, a mobile biometric blockchain voting application is being tested for members of the Armed Forces overseas.

In the US, cost, standards, and the time and work required to affect such a sweeping change are formidable obstacles. Aside from the cost of equipment and data storage, maintenance of the equipment, and timely tech support are important concerns. The time and cost to train election staff also needs to be factored in.

In a recent analysis of current voting equipment, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the predominant type is optical/digital scanners (63%), followed by direct recording equipment (32%), with about 1% hand counted paper ballots. Based on survey responses from election jurisdictions, about 28% of the population voted with newer equipment that was first used 2012 to 2016. Most, about the half the population, voted with equipment first used between 2002 and 2006.

Due to the age of our voting equipment, much of it will need replacing soon. The GAO identified four key factors that states and jurisdictions consider when deciding whether to replace voting equipment:

  1. The need to meet federal, state and local voting system standards and regulations
  2. The cost to acquire new equipment and the available funding
  3. The ability to maintain equipment, and support from vendors
  4. The overall performance and features of the voting equipment

Elsewhere in the world, according to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), as of 2016 more than 50 countries adopted biometrics in elections, varying widely by region. In Europe, biometrics systems were not used in elections. In Africa and Latin America, about half the countries used biometric technology in elections. IDEA also found that 35% of over 130 surveyed Electoral Management Bodies collected biometric data, such as fingerprints or photos, as part of the voter registration process.

If implemented well, biometric voting technologies have been shown to provide many benefits: alleviating long lines; less time required to register and vote; streamlining and speeding the election cycle; improving confidence about the accuracy and reliability of registry roles; improving e-voting security; reducing multiple registrations and voting; and mitigating impersonation, identity theft, and exploitation of the identities of deceased voters.  

Congress, states don’t seem inclined to incorporate biometrics in new voting technologies

Anthony Kimery, Apr. 16, 2018, for

Accurate Biometrics

Practical solutions for fingerprint collection and processing.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Know your FBI Identity History Summary before applying for nursing school

Photo of woman lawyer who looks to be holding a digital scales of justice

Do you know what’s on your criminal history record?

Don't let inaccurate or outdated information in your identity history hold you back in your nursing career. With a fingerprint-based FBI Identity Summary History (IdHS) check, you’ll find out if you have any blemishes on your record. It may be possible to have a disqualifying offense expunged from your record before applying for a nursing license.

Accurate Biometrics is a trusted resource with 18 years’ experience fingerprinting for nursing licensure. Unfortunately, we have seen graduating nursing students denied a nursing license because of an offense on their record.

Not long ago, a nursing student drove many miles to our corporate office in Illinois to get the results of an FBI IdHS check – a copy of her criminal history record on file with the FBI. This student had just completed her RN licensure program, and even had a nursing job waiting for her upon graduation. But when she applied for her nursing license, it was denied.

The student contacted Accurate Biometrics to find out why her license was denied. Through an FBI Departmental Order (556-73) she found out she had an “open” record in another state from a seemingly minor event that occurred years ago. She was denied a state nursing license because she had a disqualifying criminal record in another state that appeared on her FBI background check and prevented her from getting her professional nursing license.

If nursing students are concerned, it would benefit them to check the status of their criminal history record through a Departmental Order. A Departmental Order is the formal request for the IdHS report that allows you access to your criminal history on file with the FBI. No matter what state you seek licensing­ in, if the states requires a fingerprint-based background check, chances are high that your fingerprints will be also be run through the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) database. The CJIS database maintains all criminal history activity reported by the states.

A fingerprint-based background check search will let you know if a disqualifying criminal conviction exists that would prevent you from being licensed in your profession. A name-based background check (the kind that doesn’t require fingerprinting) won’t give you complete and accurate results.

Accurate Biometrics is a direct FBI channeler. We have the expertise to help you navigate through the Departmental Order 556-73 process to ensure you have a clear record to work in the medical field. We currently process fingerprints for Illinois, Florida and California nurse licensure. We also accept out-of-state and international fingerprint cards for processing.

If something shows up in your criminal history background record, you may be able to apply to have it expunged. For state records, contact the headquarters or website of your state police for expungement information. If a record is expunged from a state record, it should also be removed from the FBI record. With a Departmental Order, you can follow-up and make sure that the record was removed from the FBI record.

To challenge the results of your FBI Identity History Summary, or rap sheet, contact the
the FBI’s CJIS Division, which is responsible for the storage of fingerprints and related IdHS record information. The CJIS does not have the authority to modify any IdHS record information unless specifically notified to do so by the agency that owns the information (usually the Court of Record where the charges were filed).

You can review options for requesting a change or correction at the FBI CJIS website:

We are happy to answer your questions. Contact us by way the most convenient for you:
866-361-9944 Accurate Biometrics