The Problem With Protecting Your Identity

Jan 23 09:42 2008 Ronald E. Hudkins Print This Article

Overviews the availability of an individuals personal information as a result of human failure, security breaches, greed or ignorance of available laws to protect consumer information. The author suggests implementing additional safeguards to avoid identity theft.

When it comes to all the proactive measures you think you know about protecting your personal information from identity thefts you should know,Guest Posting there are already two strikes against you. The simple fact of the matter is whether you like it or not, you only control about 20 percent of the personal information about yourself that is spread all over the country. The remaining 80 percent of your personal information is in the hands of businesses and unfortunately; businesses are not as savvy as you might be in the protection of your personal information.

Kristen Gehrig, director of global marketing for Fellowes Inc. in Itasca, the leading shredder manufacturer, said "few states--and Illinois is not one of them--require destruction of documents. Although several federal laws mandate safeguards for customer privacy, only the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) approved in June 2005 requires businesses to destroy certain types of consumer information. But what we found in our research," she said, "is that 87 percent of small businesses are not aware of FACTA and their responsibility to make proper Disposal of Consumer Report Information and Records under this act."

Businesses hatch identity losses all the time with security breaches that can be broken down into a number of categories. What they have in common is that they contain personal identifying information in a format easily read by thieves, in other words, your personal information is not encrypted. Breaches include but are not limited to the following;

* Lost or stolen laptops, computers or other computer storage devices

* Backup tapes lost in transit because they were not sent either electronically or with a human escort

* Hackers breaking into systems

* Employees stealing information or allowing access to information

* Information bought by a fake business

* Poor business practices- for example sending postcards with Social Security numbers on them

* Internal security failures

* Viruses, Trojan Horses and computer security loopholes

* Info tossed into dumpsters- improper disposition of information

The only solutions thus far for consumers have been shock reactive - by then, it's too late. Identity theft can happen anyplace to anyone. In line at the store, online at home, business practices mentioned above or when you're buying your morning coffee. If your identity is stolen, you can spend hundreds of hours cleaning up your credit and struggling to get back your good name. That's because stolen identities are used up to 30 times, with most victims only discovering the theft after they've been turned down for a loan or contacted by a collection agency. You may already be a victim, many times over, and not even know it.

Unexpected effects even after the thief stops using the information, victims struggle with the impact of the identity theft crime. This might include increased insurance or credit card fees, inability to find a job, higher interest rates and battling collection agencies and issuers who refuse to clear records despite substantiating evidence of the identity crime. This "aggravation and turmoil" may continue for more than 10 years after the crime was first discovered and subsequently reported.

If you think you know all the tricks in thwarting the identity thief; think again! The criminals will just bide their time and wait for you to forget some available proactive measure and strike you down in the confusion and distraction of everyday existence. If they can't get you individually, they'll strike a business that fails to shred your personal information or has some security breach that avails the info needed.

There are many services in the industry that offer proactive identity theft protection with a proven solution that prevents your identity from being stolen before it happens. They protect your identity and personal information for only $10 a month - and one guarantee's their service up to $1,000,000. They also offer the only identity theft child protection program available in the market, so guarantee your good name today and review the many identity theft services available in the market. The Federal Trade Commission recommends that the small print in all the available services be understood before commitment because, some programs are better than others.

I can't recommend the course of action you should take to protect you identity. I can however suggest you simply recognize the fact the problem of identity theft is a growing problem. It is bigger than you and I and a proactive service supplementing our own personal initiatives to avoid identity theft; might just be the best decision ever made.

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About Article Author

Ronald E. Hudkins
Ronald E. Hudkins

Ronald Hudkins is a published Internet author with a very high regard for consumer awareness. Despite over 2o years in law enforcement and working many jobs requiring a security clearance he once fell victim to credit theft as a result of a disgruntled employee selling information from personnel records. To find out how he supplements and protects his identity visit and review the program he uses at http://www.AdultWishFoundations.com/Life_Lock.html

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