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Identity Theft Resolution Center »
For sharing and consuming information, nothing beats the convenience of having a smartphone in your pocket. You can read a restaurant review, make a reservation, send an invitation to your friends and get directions all within minutes. But, for every move you make, there's more going on behind the scenes than you may realize.
Your smartphone and mobile service provider are constantly collecting information about your whereabouts and behavior. Information that advertisers can use to send you offers from the businesses around you. Or that law enforcement can use to establish your location at the scene of a crime.
You may think your boss could never know you prefer taking the long way back to the office after a meeting. But, according to the website PrivacyRights.org, it's legal for your employer to track your whereabouts during work hours through the GPS on your company-issued phone.
Location tracking raises numerous questions about privacy. Who can access this goldmine of information about you? How long is it stored? The concern for your identity is clear. The more information that is available about you, the easier it is to steal your identity.
This concern likely won't stop you from using your smartphone, so instead think about how you use it.
The way we use smartphones and the misuse of the information they collect is still evolving. Make sure you consider the consequences of purposefully sharing too much.
Children see the Internet as a place to play games, connect with friends and even keep up with their favorite cartoon or TV characters. So, it's asking a lot of them to understand the complexities and risks of the online world. There's also little denying that the Internet is just as much a part of their lives as it is ours, so they need to know how to use it responsibly.
Here are a few pointers to start the conversation with your children and teens about data privacy - both online and off.
Talking to Children
Talking to Teens
Also consider adding ChildSecureTM to your ProtectMyID membership to monitor for credit reports established in all of your children's names.
Your health records are perhaps the most personal of all the personal information you have reason to protect. Not only do your records contain the details of diagnoses, medications and surgeries, they also contain a complete profile of your personal identifying information, including your full name, address, birth date and Social Security number.
With 1996's Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the federal government strengthened regulations on how these important records can be shared in order to promote better patient privacy. As more and more doctors are switching to electronic record storage and management, the need for enhanced privacy is greater than ever.
The many risks of having your medical records fall into the wrong hands range from identity theft to medical fraud. The consequences include:
The privacy of your medical information is clearly a serious matter, and one you should speak to your doctors' offices about if you have concerns. Keep in mind that:
To read more about medical fraud, visit ProtectMyID's online Resources for Identity Theft.
As part of Data Privacy Day, take some time to consider if you're effectively utilizing these recommendations from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to protect your personal information. If not, why not make them a part of your New Year's resolutions? After all, your identity is a valuable asset, and data privacy helps to protect the many elements that comprise it.
Data Storage Tips
Electronic Data Tips
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