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Personally Identifiable Information Essay

1070 words - 5 pages

Personally Identifiable Information
IFSM 201

Everyone in today’s society is at risk for identity theft or other fraudulent actions against them using unauthorized use of their personally identifiable information. Luckily, there are many different ways to prevent such actions. The Department of Homeland Security defines” personally identifiable information (PII) as any information that permits the identity of an individual to be directly or indirectly inferred, including any information that is linked or linkable to that individual, regardless of whether the individual is a U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident, visitor to the U.S., or employee or contractor to the Department.” ...view middle of the document...

Just in 2014, numerous companies were hacked including two of the largest retail stores in America, Target Home depot. According to the Washington post “Hackers also grabbed personal information, including names, home addresses and telephone numbers, of up to an additional 70 million Target customers in that attack.” (Douglas, 2014). It was also reported that “The cyber­attack has resulted in 2,400 cards from customers being used in fraudulent transactions so far.” (Douglas, 2014). Similar attacks were also against home depot where millions of customers personal information where compromised. These are just a few examples of what hackers been up to.
Protecting ones PII for the most part is intuition, knowing what is sensible, making sure the information is being left in capable hands, kind of like protecting ones baby. It can hard to have to do at times and on the other it can happen by mistake. Like forgetting to shred and important piece of document with PII and it ends up in the wrong hands or leaving the information with someone whom you taught was trustworthy, turns out that person has a different agenda. Some common practices that everyone should participate in regarding PII but do not are: securing personal information in your home, don’t leave a social security on the dining room table, not everyone who visits you have to best intentions. Do not walk with social security number in wallet, this should be common sense unfortunately it is not. Do not leave electronics or other personal information documents in the car, if it must be the car it should be locked in the trunk out of plain view. Do not discuss PII over the phone or forward same information in an email. Do not post sensitive information on social media networks for examples do not create a status saying all your passwords are the same. It is imperative for everyone to know the risk that are involve in using social media and websites. Social media should be treated like a stranger and everyone should act accordingly. The Department of Homeland Security list more technical ways to protect ones PII that may not be so much of a common sense action. For mailings containing a small amount of Sensitive PII materials, Seal Sensitive PII materials in an opaque envelope or container, Mail using the U.S. Postal Service’s First Class Mail, Priority Mail, or an accountable commercial...

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