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Increased Convenience Leaves Personal Information Exposed

It's easy to make transactions, and just as easy for info to be stolen or changed

Getting a credit application approved, transferring money from one account to another, renewing your driver's license, getting a prescription from your doctor at your local pharmacy.

Think about how easily and quickly you can do these things today.

A downside of this convenience is that there are more opportunities for your personal information to be changed, stolen or reported inaccurately.

To help protect your privacy, follow these tips:

  • Look for privacy statements on websites, sales materials and forms you fill out. If a website claims to follow a set of established voluntary standards, read the standards. Don't assume they provide the level of privacy you want.
  • Ask what information will be collected and how it may be used.
  • Be selective about what you put on warranty registration forms. The company only needs the purchase date, model/serial numbers, and how you can be contacted if there is a product recall. You can ignore questions not related to your purchase, such as your income and hobbies.
  • Discuss privacy with others in your home. Everyone, even children, should understand what information is not appropriate to share on the phone, while using a computer and in other situations.

Check with your state or local consumer agency to find out whether any state laws that help protect your privacy. Some companies and industry groups have also adopted voluntary policies that address privacy concerns.

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