Identity Theft Protection Expert and One You Security: Privacy of Social Security Numbers Not the Key to Identity Theft Prevention
(SARASOTA, Fla. – July 1, 2008 – One You Security) As word in late June revealed a debate over removing Social Security numbers from patients’ Medicare cards to protect their privacy, survey results reported elsewhere showed a high level of concern among consumers about identity theft. But the focus should be on protecting financial identities, not on attempting to keep Social Security numbers private, said Robert Siciliano, widely televised and quoted identity theft protection expert and chief security analyst for One You Security, LLC. Rather than trying to keep subscribers’ Social Security numbers private, the firm puts its efforts into rendering these digits useless to the thieves who would otherwise use them to steal financial identities.
"It’s futile to protect the privacy of Social Security numbers," said Siciliano. "Organizations that propose to do so mean well, but misunderstand the crime of identity theft and the extent to which Social Security numbers are already there for the taking. Any thief can obtain a Social Security number. It’s impossible to return to the days when Social Security numbers were largely unavailable to the public at large. Consumers now need services that allow them to protect their financial identities even when criminals have their Social Security numbers in hand."
Chief security analyst for One You Security and a member of the Bank Fraud & IT Security Report‘s editorial board, Siciliano regularly discusses data security and consumer protection on CNBC, on NBC’s "Today Show," FOX News Network, and elsewhere. Subscribers to One You Security receive newsletters and special alerts from Siciliano. Through these, they get the latest data on breaches and learn more about identity theft prevention.
On June 22, The New York Times reported on an apparent disagreement between Social Security officials and their Medicare counterparts over the use of Social Security numbers on patients’ cards. Social Security administrators called "for immediate action to remove Social Security numbers from the Medicare cards used by millions of Americans," reported the article, which went on to note that Medicare officials "resisted the proposal, saying it would be costly and impractical."
Meanwhile, consumers across the globe are expressing a high level of concern over identity theft and financial fraud, revealed the latest Unisys Security Index. Drawing on survey responses from 13,296 people, the twice-yearly inventory of consumers’ security concerns found that identity theft is the greatest area of consumer distress in 9 of 14 countries. Worries over financial fraud closely followed: "Concerns about misuse of credit or debit card details rank […] 1st or 2nd in 12 out of 14 countries," according to Unisys’ website.
"Trying to assuage consumers’ fears over the theft of their financial identities by promising to protect the privacy of their Social Security numbers is misleading," said Chris Harris, president and CEO of One You Security. "Long gone are the days when Social Security numbers were private. A thief can now obtain anyone’s Social Security number online for about fifty bucks, and this isn’t going to change. The far superior approach is to make that Social Security number useless to the criminal who wants to use it to steal a financial identity."
Consumers who choose One You Security do so in part because the company strives to transform their Social Security numbers into meaningless strings of numbers of no use to thieves. The firm backs all its offerings with a 100 percent service guarantee.
The YouTube video below shows Siciliano on FOX News Network, where he explains how thieves were able to crack the computers of Hannaford Bros., a grocery chain that operates 165 stores in the Northeast, to obtain the credit card and debit card numbers of millions of customers. A collection of videos at VideoJug features Siciliano sharing advice on how consumers can protect themselves from identity theft and fraud.
About One You Security, LLC
Sarasota, Fla.-based One You Security‘s mission is to eliminate the threat and consequences of identity theft. For just $10 per month, anyone can sign up for One You Security’s identity theft protection service, a proactive, preventative approach whereby the company activates and manages its customers’ fraud alerts with major credit bureaus. Subscribers also receive full access to ongoing education from identity theft protection expert Robert Siciliano, chief security analyst for One You Security, which backs up its promise to protect clients’ financial identities with a 100 percent service guarantee. To sign up for One You Security, dial 1-800-434-2010.
Identity theft affects us all, and Robert Siciliano, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com, chief security analyst for One You Security, and member of the Bank Fraud & IT Security Report‘s editorial board, makes it his mission to provide consumer education solutions on identity theft to Fortune 500 companies and their clients. Author of "The Safety Minute: 01" and leader of personal safety and security seminars nationwide, Siciliano has been featured on "The Today Show," CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, "FOX News," "The Suze Orman Show," "The Montel Williams Show," "Maury Povich," "Sally Jesse Raphael," "The Howard Stern Show," and "Inside Edition." Numerous magazines, print news outlets, and wire services have turned to him, as well, for expert commentary on personal security and identity theft protection. These include Forbes, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Woman’s Day, Mademoiselle, Good Housekeeping, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, United Press International, Reuters, and others. For more information, visit Siciliano’s Web site, blog, and YouTube page.
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