Creating a Personal Culture of Security: First know what is Private Information

The Great Wall of China was built one stone at a time to provide better security. A culture of security is built one person at a time. The first stone is to know what information should be kept private.

Number one is your Social security number. The damage thieves can do with when they have your SSN is grave. They can open credit cards, bank accounts and lines of credit in your name. If you are not monitoring your credit reports, you may only find out about them when collectors start calling.

Next would be your birth date. When you call your bank or other institution they often ask for your birth date as proof of identity. Thieves will pay for Name, Social security number and date of birth combinations.

Bank Account Information, location of assets and Debit/Credit Card Numbers would come next. How many times have you handed a stranger your credit card and they left your sight for 15-minutes? When was the last time you went out to eat? Technically when someone uses your debit/credit card or bank account it is credit card or bank fraud, not Identity Theft.

You do not want everyone to know your driver license and student ID numbers. No? Then ask why they need to make a photo copy.

How strong are the passwords you use? Are they at least 8 characters long with upper and lower case, numbers and special characters?

I believe email, phone numbers and addresses should be protected. Sure the information is everywhere, but why add more to the public data bases?

Medical and health information along with insurance policy numbers need to be kept private. Medical Identity Theft can be the most dangerous form of Identity Theft. When someone pretends to be you to get medical treatment, their medical history becomes mixed in with your medical information – their blood type, their pre-existing conditions, etc. The wrong information can kill you.

Gender, ethnicity and citizenship should not be public. Parking lease information can tell someone where you park your car.

Here is the secret to setting your facebook privacy settings for the ultimate security: Only put in your profile and in your posts what you want everyone in the world to know about you! Do not put graduation dates or your birth date in your profile.

Start building your Personal Culture of Security by asking, “Why do you need this information? How do you protect my information?”

Facebook’s future: What the FTC order means for consumer privacy

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About Bruce Demarest

Bruce Demarest is a Identity Theft Protection Specialist. He has designed and taught classes to educate individuals and businesses in identity theft risk management. The individuals have learned how to continuously monitor their financial identities from credit fraud, plus how to monitor their personal identifying information for unauthorized use. His business clients have become compliant with the federal & state privacy laws. He has conducted information security audits to identify their potential problems and has designed security policies, programs, and practices to address those problem areas.
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One Response to Creating a Personal Culture of Security: First know what is Private Information

  1. Pingback: Culture of Security in Your Family | Bruce Demarest's Blog

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