Data Privacy: Taking It Personally
Quick. In 2012, what was the number one complaint submitted to the FTC?
You guessed it: Identity theft. And it has been the number one complaint for 13 years straight.
That makes Data Privacy Day the ideal time to think about how you can protect your identity.
Latanya Sweeney, the FTC’s Chief Technologist, recently told us that something as simple as an online resume could be a treasure trove for identity thieves. It turns out that a web search can reveal the names, Social Security numbers, and birthdates of thousands of people because this information appears in many online resumes.
So what can you do?
Be strategic about what you include in your resume. For example, don’t include your Social Security number or date of birth; include your age and home address only if you must.
What else can you do to protect your identity?
- Visit annualcreditreport.com and request a free copy of your credit report every year from each of the national credit bureaus. Check your report for accounts you don’t recognize or other errors, and correct problems right away.
- Take steps to secure your personal information, including shredding personal documents and erasing information on computers and mobile devices before getting rid of them.
- Read about the warning signs of identity theft, and what to do if you suspect that your identity has been stolen.
Want more tips? Check out this video for five to-do’s to make protecting your identity part of your everyday routine.