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January 2012

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Identity TheftThe Energy Corridor District’s Security and Public Safety Network recently focused on an increasingly important topic, Protecting Yourself from Identify Theft, with featured guest speaker, Charles Andrews, Director of Security and Investigations at First Data Corporation. During the meeting to brief and update ECD security leaders, Andrews educated guests on identity theft and ways to protect both personal and corporate information. 

The Federal Trade Commission estimates that nine million Americans are victims of identity theft each year.  While a variety of methods are used by thieves to steal your information, the most common are:

  • Dumpster diving
  • Mail theft
  • Scams, pharming and phishing
  • Computer / internet hacking
  • Insider theft

To help protect personal information from identity theft, Andrews and the Identify Theft Resource Center recommend:

  • Shredding financial documents and paperwork with personal information
  • Protecting your Social Security number
  • Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the internet unless you know who you are dealing with
  • Don’t use an obvious password like your birth date, your mother’s maiden name or the last four digits of your Social Security number
  • Keep your personal information in a secure place at home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help or have contractors in the house

For more information on how to protect your identity, visit www.idtheftcenter.org.  Next month’s newsletter will highlight processes and procedures to help companies protect their confidential information.

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