40 Million People Hacked - YOU as Identity Theft Victim

Written by Mike Banks Valentine

Continued from page 1

Asrepparttar following link to a silicon.com story suggests, we cannot take much more of this lack of regard to privacy and must lock down financially sensitive data securely and must begin to hold data brokers, bureaus and handlers VERY accountable.

Insist to your elected representatives that your financial data be locked down, encrypted and guarded by those entrusted with storing, transporting and using it. Since our financial, medical and legal lives are increasingly being housed in digital form and transmitted between data centers of multiple handlers - we need to know it is secure. We also need to know when that security has been breached and our data compromised or lost.

Thieves are becoming more aware ofrepparttar 144199 ease with which they can find and access financial data. Hacking is notrepparttar 144200 source ofrepparttar 144201 greatest losses.

Organized crime has easily found their way into our financial records by simply paying for it by posing as "legitimate" business customers of information brokers such as ChoicePoint and Lexis/Nexis. Any business can buy financial and credit information from those information bureaus and credit reporting agencies by meeting rather lax requirements for "need to know" that data.

As long as it is possible to purchase our sensitive data from brokers and bureaus, organized crime will "legitimately" buy it from those sources, then ruin our credit by selling that information at a higher price in identity theft schemes.

Since disclosure laws have come into effect, those breaches have been made public, credit cards cancelled before losses can occur and credit reports monitored to watch for suspicious activity. The bad guys activities are squelched because we are made aware ofrepparttar 144202 possibility our information has been compromised.

Not all blame can go to financial institutions and data brokers. Protect your own private data by protecting your computer records at home, inrepparttar 144203 office, on your laptop and in your PDA by using basic keyword security and locking down files. Use built in encryption on your operating system and your home network to keep data secure. Then be certain to clear that sensitive data offrepparttar 144204 computer when you sell it or throw it away.

Data security is something we all need to take seriously andrepparttar 144205 corporate breaches are dramatic illustrations of how important it has become to build digital fortresses around our critical financial, legal and medical information.

Mike Banks Valentine is a privacy advocate and blogs about privacy issues at http://privacynotes.com/privacy_blog/ You can read more about identity theft issues at: http://shorl.com/hudryrygepregru

Contact MikeValentine for Search Engine Optimization http://www.seoptimism.com/SEO_Contact.htm

Computer Disposal - Throwing Away Your Computer, Money, and Idenity

Written by Jackson Morgan

Continued from page 1

So, what should you do? Here are a couple ideas on computer disposal that may help:

* Go ahead and recycle your computer in an EPA fashion, but remove your hard disk drive and add it to your new system for extra storage (Secure); * Find a local company that will melt you hard disk drive. Usually a recycler or machine shop will do this for you (Secure, but it will cost money); * Find a local company that will use a degaussing machine in order to eradicate your hard disk drive (Secure, but it will cost money); * Use a secondary application to format your drive, but runrepparttar program 3-5 times even if it states itís not necessary (99.9% secure, but still possible to recover data).

Computer Disposal andrepparttar 143911 EPA ---------------------------------------------- Make sure when you recycle your old system you comply with repparttar 143912 Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") guidelines. Here are some basic facts on computer disposal that will help you.

According torepparttar 143913 official EPA website www.epa.gov:

* The Environmental Protection Agency has strict regulations regardingrepparttar 143914 disposal of hazardous materials; * Penalties for violations are distributed inrepparttar 143915 form of fines as well as Public Service; * Nearly 250 million computers will become obsolete in repparttar 143916 next five years; * Many people discard computers every three to five years; * In 2004, only 11 percent of personal computers retired inrepparttar 143917 U.S. were recycled.

Conclusion ---------- TVs and computers can contain an average of four pounds of lead (depending on their size, make and vintage) as well as other substances of potential concern like chromium, cadmium, mercury, beryllium, nickel, zinc and brominated flame retardants. These materials need to be handled carefully and are potential health hazards.

On top of allrepparttar 143918 chemicals and biohazards, your computer probably contains personal information. If this information falls intorepparttar 143919 wrong hands, you could be onrepparttar 143920 receiving end of identity theft and various forms of fraud.

Websites that may be of interest:

* The Computer Disposal Requirements section ofrepparttar 143921 EPA; * SnapFiles Handy Recovery data recovery freeware tool; * R-tools Technology R-Wipe & Clean disk cleaning and PC privacy software.

Jackson Morgan,

President of 'The Technical Coalition Against Dumbness (TCAD) :)

About The Author ---------------- Jackson Morgan is a Sr. desktop support specialist and works with small to large businesses. He is certified to work on many platforms and has over eight years experience in the field. If you would like to contact Jackson you can e-mail him at jackson.morgan@paralogic.net.

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