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Welcome to the ProtectMyID Blog

Lessons and stories from the front lines of fighting identity theft.


Posts from January, 2011

Protecting Your Data: To Save or to Shred

Jan 29

Protecting Your Data: To Save or to Shred Does this sound like you? You’re garage or office filing cabinets are teeming with financial documents that go back to the days when “Dallas” was a hit TV show? Do you have old credit card bills and receipts from the days when the entire credit card number was printed? You may be like I was, saving everything “just in case” and not having clear knowledge about how long certain items should be kept. If so, read on. This post is for you.

Identity Theft Prevention Audit on Data Privacy Day

Jan 28

Identity Theft Prevention Audit on Data Privacy Day No one can say they can do everything to prevent identity theft. If they do, turn and run very quickly. However, there are steps you can take to reduce your risks of identity theft. For example, if you frequently shred your documents, you are mitigating the risks of identity theft happening because of dumpster diving. In observance of Data Privacy Day we’ve provided this quiz to help you examine your risks of identity theft. Thanks to our friends at the Identity theft Resource Center for the Identity Theft Risk Quiz.

Looking for love online? Simple steps to protect your identity

Jan 26

Long gone are the days when no one wanted to admit to frequenting online dating sites. Today, millions of Americans interact, meet, date - and even marry - thanks to dating sites. Unfortunately, not everyone you might meet online is looking for romance. Some are looking to cheat unsuspecting love-seekers out of their valuable personally identifiable information which is then used for identity theft.

ProtecMyID Fraud Case #17

Jan 24

ProtecMyID Fraud Case #17 The purpose of this blog series is to educate people about the ways that identities are stolen. Keep in mind, these stories are true (although I have omitted specific details for our members’ protection) and are described by real Fraud Resolution Agents. It is up to you if you are going to be proactive to protect yourself from identity theft after reading this post. Fraud Case: Family Member Shops ‘til her Aunt’s Credit Score Drops

Identity Theft via Social Sites

Jan 19

Identity Theft via Social Sites Most of us reach out to each other through the various social forums. This has been a wonderful way to reconnect with people or to keep each other posted about life’s events. If you currently engage in social networking, be cautious and screen what kinds of messages your friends are sending you - especially if you happen to receive a message requesting your immediate financial assistance. The other day, I read a story about a man who became victim of such a messaging scam. What happened to this poor guy is that he received messages from one of his friends asking for money. Being the good friend that he is, he ended up wiring a large amount of money to what he thought was his friend’s account. Little did he know that the messages he had received were fake.

FTC Tips for Data Privacy

Jan 13

FTC Tips for Data Privacy As part of Data Privacy Day, take some time to consider if you’re effectively utilizing these recommendations from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to protect your personal information. If not, why not make them a part of your New Year’s resolutions? After all, your identity is a valuable asset, and data privacy helps to protect the many elements that comprise it.

Being Smart on Your Smartphone

Jan 13

Being Smart on Your Smartphone For sharing and consuming information, nothing beats the convenience of having a smartphone in your pocket. You can read a restaurant review, make a reservation, send an invitation to your friends and get directions all within minutes. But, for every move you make, there’s more going on behind the scenes than you may realize. Your smartphone and mobile service provider are constantly collecting information about your whereabouts and behavior. Information that advertisers can use to send you offers from the businesses around you. Or that law enforcement can use to establish your location at the scene of a crime.

Medical Privacy Checkup

Jan 13

Medical Privacy Checkup Your health records are perhaps the most personal of all the personal information you have reason to protect. Not only do your records contain the details of diagnoses, medications and surgeries, they also contain a complete profile of your personal identifying information, including your full name, address, birthdate and Social Security number. With 1996’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), the federal government strengthened regulations on how these important records can be shared in order to promote better patient privacy. As more and more doctors are switching to electronic record storage and management, the need for enhanced privacy is greater than ever.

Talking to Kids about Data Privacy

Jan 13

Talking to Kids about Data Privacy Children see the Internet as a place to play games, connect with friends and even keep up with their favorite cartoon or TV characters. So, it’s asking a lot of them to understand the complexities and risks of the online world. There’s also little denying that the Internet is just as much a part of their lives as it is ours, so they need to know how to use it responsibly. Here are a few pointers to start the conversation with your children and teens about data privacy – both online and off.

Identity Theft Victims often Know the Thief

Jan 12

Identity Theft Victims often Know the Thief You meet an old acquaintance for a long overdue lunch and play catch up over food and drinks while having a great conversation about old times. When the server arrives with the bill, you have a friendly feud over who is paying. Your friend agrees to pay for the next one. Before leaving, you make a quick trip to the restroom and upon your return; your credit card receipt is waiting to be signed. The following month, you receive your credit card statement and, to your dismay, there are various charges that you didn’t make. Coincidently, you notice that the fraudulent charges were made around the same time frame you had lunch with your acquaintance. Thinking it rather odd, you call your friend to share the story and receive no callback.