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August 2013

As Identity Theft continues to grow at an alarming rate, this issue offers some simple steps you can take on how you can protect your personal information including your Social Security number, bank accounts, credit cards, insurance & medical records and most importantly your kids identities. Boomers and children are at the top of the list for identity theft.

There are two types of Identity theft. You can protect yourself from both.

ACCOUNT TAKEOVER occurs when a thief acquires your existing account information and purchases products and services using either the actual credit card or simply the account number and expiration date.

APPLICATION FRAUD: the thief uses your SSN and other identifying information to open new accounts in your name.

Don't wait until it's too late. Get protected now.

Got Kids Under 13? You're protected, but are they?

As a parent, you have control over the personal information companies collect online from your kids under 13. The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act gives you tools to do that. The Federal Trade Commission, the nation's consumer protection agency, enforces the COPPA Rule. If a site or service is covered by COPPA, it has to get your consent before collecting personal information from your child and it has to honor your choices about how that information is used.

Starting July 1st, parents might feel a little better about their younger kids' privacy online. That's because changes to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) rule took effect on July 1st. The act requires operators of websites or online services directed to kids under 13 to give notice to parents - and get their verifiable consent - before collecting, using, or disclosing a kid's personal information.

How Boomers Can Keep their Identities Safe

Identity thieves are looking for victims that will provide the most financial benefit, and oftentimes, boomers fit the bill. Boomers tend to have strong credit ratings, more savings than younger consumers and access to credit.

While this age group is a prime target for identity thieves, that doesn't mean you can't be proactive about protecting yourself.

Here are some simple steps you can take to prevent identity theft: Full story


4 tips to protect your Social Security number

Your Social Security number is the key to your financial castle. Armed with those precious nine digits, identity thieves can rip off your good name and credit to set up new accounts and loans or rob your existing accounts.

No matter how crooks get your number, the turmoil they will spin into your life could take you months and thousands of dollars to resolve. In 2010, 8.6 million U.S. households were touched by identity theft and lost $13.3 billion as a result, according to a Bureau of Justice Statistics survey.

"Of any piece of personal information, the Social Security number is the most critical to safeguard," says Lisa Schifferle, an attorney in the Federal Trade Commission. "It's the golden ticket to identity theft," she says, adding that government watchdogs field more complaints about identity theft than anything else. Full story

IRS mistakenly posted thousands of Social Security numbers on website

The IRS mistakenly posted the Social Security numbers of tens of thousands of Americans on a government website, the agency confirmed. One estimate put the figure as high as 100,000 names.

The numbers were posted to an IRS database for tax-exempt political groups known as 527s and first discovered by the group Full story

Facebook Admits Year-Long Data Breach Exposed 6 Million Users

Facebook has inadvertently exposed 6 million users' phone numbers and email addresses to unauthorized viewers over the past year, the world's largest social-networking company disclosed late Friday.

Facebook blamed the data leaks, which began in 2012, on a technical glitch in its massive archive of contact information collected from its 1.1 billion users worldwide. As a result of the glitch, Facebook users who downloaded contact data for their list of friends obtained additional information that they were not supposed to have. Full story


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