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How To Inform Patients About Identity Theft

Informing patients about identity theft risk is not a strict legal requirement but not informing them could lead to serious consequences, not only for the individual involved but also for the hospital or clinical practitioner who decided not to inform the patients of identity theft risk. In this article we will look at a number of ideas to help you establish how, when and whether you should inform your patients about the possible risk of identity theft.

The first principle...

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Informing patients about identity theft risk is not a strict legal requirement but not informing them could lead to serious consequences, not only for the individual involved but also for the hospital or clinical practitioner who decided not to inform the patients of identity theft risk. In this article we will look at a number of ideas to help you establish how, when and whether you should inform your patients about the possible risk of identity theft.

The first principle which you should always try to stick to is one of data security. Hopefully with proper security systems in place the need to inform patients about breaches in this security will be minimal. Data security involves systems such as secure passwords on all your computers, data encryption, anti-spyware software and any other security measures which your IT specialists may suggest. If these security measures are strictly adhered to and staff are trained in these and the importance of data privacy then informing patients about identity theft risk should only happen on the very rare occasion.

Some people feel that by informing patients too often of the risk of identity theft that they will become de-sensitized to the risk, however, if you have correct security systems in place you will hopefully not need to do it too often, and it is important that if there is a real risk of identity theft that the patients are informed of this risk in order to take precautionary measures.

If the risk is high in a certain case of breach of security then it important that patients are informed of the risk of identity theft in a timely manner and they should also be informed of what the hospital is doing in order to catch the suspect and prevent further harm from being done.

It would also be a good idea in these circumstances to provide guidance for patients concerned as to what measures they should be taking in order to protect themselves – such as contacting the credit bureaus, creditors and other parties.

Informing patients about identity theft risk is not a strict legal requirement; however, if hospitals are found negligent in this then the consequences could be severe and amount to millions of dollars in fines. The consequences for the patients involved could also be severe, not only in terms of financial risk but also in terms of personal health information that could land in the wrong hands. All data security measures should be in place long before this need ever arises but if there is a serious risk of identity theft occurring then patients should be informed in a timely manner and given guidance as to how they ought to proceed with protecting themselves and what the hospital is doing in this regard.

Take the time to protect your identity so that you too won???t have to suffer through the loss. If you pay bills on line make sure you only use secure sites to do so. With so many great firewalls and computer programs such as Norton???s anti-virus it is tough to break down such security systems in place.

 

How To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Identity Theft is a real and growing problem. So what is identity theft exactly? Basically, identity theft is when someone uses your social security number, your bank credit card number, your driver's license number or any other form of identity without your knowledge or permission.

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Identity Theft is a real and growing problem. So what is identity theft exactly? Basically, identity theft is when someone uses your social security number, your bank credit card number, your driver's license number or any other form of identity without your knowledge or permission.

Many people have fallen victim to identity theft through many different means. Some of these ways are easily preventable due to their common sense obvious nature. Other ways identities are stolen are more dubious and discreet.

So, the question becomes, how can you protect yourself from someone stealing your identity?

To protect yourself from identity theft, the first thing you should do when considering how to divulge information about your identity to someone you do not know or may not trust is to use your common sense. Never make one-sided assumptions or take things for granted where your identity is concerned.

Credit card company statements and bank statements you receive in the mail contain your account information including your account number. Any of these items need to be shredded with an inexpensive shredder you can buy at any office supply store. Do not throw credit card statements, old credit cards or bank statements, etc. in the trash as that presents an easy way for someone going through the trash to steal your account information and use it as if they were you.

Another thing you can do to protect yourself against credit card fraud and unauthorized credit card usage is to sign the back of your card as "Check ID". If a store clerk asks to see your card, he or she will check the signature on the back and compare it with some other form of ID you have. This safeguard will not work where a purchase can be automatically completed (like at a gas pump).

When you are buying items at a store or withdrawing money from a bank or ATM machine using your ATM debit card always protect the visibility of your PIN number as you punch it in.

Do not carry your social security card with your number on it in your wallet. Keep your social security card or anything with your social security number on it in a safe place where no one has access to it but you. If you must dispose of anything that has your social security number on it, do not forget to shred it.

When online, do not open files sent to you by strangers or even files that are from someone you know but were not expecting to receive any from them. Do not click on hyperlinks or download programs from people you do not know either. Opening a computer file from an unknown source could expose your system to a computer virus, a Trojan or spyware. These types of programs could be ones that could log your keystroke information containing your credit card numbers, passwords or other sensitive information as you type it in.

If you use Ebay or Paypal, read the company website policies concerning how they handle communication to you about your account information. Never trust an email you may receive out of nowhere from Ebay or Paypal asking you to "update your account information" as this is more than likely a ploy to steal that information and use it illegally.

Use a firewall program and a router while you are online if you have high speed internet that leaves your computer connected to the internet 24/7. The router and the firewall program both make it much more difficult for a hacker to see your computer's actual IP address which means that you have a better chance of safely sending and receiving sensitive information over the internet. Windows XP operating system SP2 has a built in firewall which you should make sure is enabled in your settings.

When you are shopping online, always use a secure browser and shop from a web site that offers secure transactions when shopping online. Most browsers in use today have this protection feature including the popular Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox browsers. Secure website shopping carts you visit will show up as "https://thestoresdomain.com" in the web browser address bar.

Practice keeping your computer clean from spyware or Trojan programs that log keystroke information by using virus protection software and spyware monitoring and removal software. These programs should be updated regularly, and updates for you're operating system and other software programs should be installed regularly to protect against the compromise of your computer files and password information. Ideally, virus protection software should be set to update itself frequently. The Windows XP operating system will update itself automatically if you enable this feature, which you should.

The consequences of identity theft once thieves have your information can be quite severe and range from going on a spending spree to taking out auto loans in your name. For these reasons and others, it is a good idea to monitor your credit report periodically. A credit report can be obtained from Trans Union Corp. New laws have made it easy for you to get at least one free credit report that you can use to see if accounts have been opened in your name.

You may copy this article and place it on your own website, as long as you do not change it and include this resource box including the live link to the Credit Repair Advice site.

 

How To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft With Your Purse

Identity theft is the fastest growing criminal activity in the 20th Century, replacing illegal drug sales.

How BIG is this Problem?

Banks, credit card companies and businesses that house servers storing passwords or other sensitive information all report “break-ins”through Trojan viruses or other online hacking methods – resulting in the loss of millions of pieces of information. Instances of lost information are employees selling it and other lax security measures re...

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Identity theft is the fastest growing criminal activity in the 20th Century, replacing illegal drug sales.

How BIG is this Problem?

Banks, credit card companies and businesses that house servers storing passwords or other sensitive information all report “break-ins”through Trojan viruses or other online hacking methods – resulting in the loss of millions of pieces of information. Instances of lost information are employees selling it and other lax security measures resulting in thieves having access to your identity.

Thieves Want

- Your Name
- Date of Birth
- Home Address
- Phone Numbers
- Social Security Number
- Driver’s License Number
- Credit Card Numbers
- CW2 Security Code (the number on the back of your credit card)
- Your Credit Report
- ATM Cards
- Telephone Calling Cards
- Mortgage Details

Where Are They Getting Your Information?

- Banks
- Credit-Reference Agencies
- Retailers
- Credit Card Networks
- Data-Brokerage Companies
- Payment Processing Companies
- Phone Companies
- Schools
- Your Employer
- Doctors, Clinics and Health Departments
- Government Agencies

There are other effective methods:

- Dumpster Diving
- Mail Theft
- Retail Theft
- “Phishing”/pretexting/pretending
- Purse/Wallet Theft

What are Thieves Using Your Information For?

- Making charges to your existing credit cards
- Opening new credit cards in your name
- Having phone or utilities turned on
- Withdrawing money from your existing bank accounts
- Employment purposes
- Driver’s Licenses
- Tax Fraud
- Social Service benefits
- Student loans
- Business or Personal loans
- Health care
- Mortgage loans/leases
- Auto loans
- Using your ID when caught committing a crime

How Can You Protect Yourself?

- Keep a photocopy of your credit cards, bank account numbers and investment account numbers in a safe
place
- Keep your credit card receipts
- Put a “fraud alert” on all your credit reports
- If you apply for credit and the card doesn’t arrive on time, call the card issuer
- Choose difficult PIN numbers or passwords. (Don’t use birth dates, your mother’s maiden name, etc.)
- Never give personal information to anyone who sends you an email, a letter or calls you asking for it
- Shred personal information
- Don’t use the ATM machine if someone is watching you
- Pay attention to what’s going on around you – cell phones often have cameras in them. If someone is standing by you with a cell phone while you're entering a PIN number, block their view
- Review your bills each month. If there’s something you don’t remember, call the creditor.
- Check your credit report at least once a year
- Store your cancelled checks safely.
- Don’t leave your purse in plain sight when driving
- Keep your valuables locked in the trunk or glove box when driving
- Make all personal information on your computer password protected
- Don’t carry information about your PIN numbers, passwords and account numbers in your purse or wallet

Warning Signs that Your Identity Has Been Stolen:

- A loan application is denied, or you’re refused extended credit requests
- You are contacted by a debt-collection agency
- Your purse or wallet has been stolen, or your house broken into
- Unfamiliar activity on your credit report

What to do if it Happens to You:

- If your purse or wallet is stolen, call the police
- Contact your bank, credit card and other credit extending companies and report the theft
- Close accounts
- Contact the credit-reporting companies
- Have fraudulent activity removed immediately and monitor your credit report every 90 days for the next year
- Put everything in writing
- File a report with the Federal Trade Commission
- Change passwords on your existing accounts and create new ones for new accounts

Identity theft is real. There are no guarantees you can keep your information safe, by taking proactive steps to protect yourself, you can minimize your chances of having an “identity crisis”.




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