(SARASOTA, Fla. – Aug. 22, 2008 – One You Security) From mid-2006 to mid-2008, consumers’ private and confidential information went missing from a majority of U.K. firms, according to data announced earlier this summer by researchers who said 90 percent of these incidents went unreported to customers. The findings reflect major reasons for consumers to take proactive steps in controlling their own identities, said Robert Siciliano, widely televised and quoted identity theft protection expert and chief security analyst for One You Security, LLC. While consumers have little purview over how businesses obtain and use their identifying data, according to Siciliano, they can turn to firms such as One You Security, whose services render Social Security numbers useless to thieves who would use them to commit financial fraud.
"What is all-too-evident and unfortunate is not only that consumers’ data in the hands of businesses often finds itself in harm’s way, but also that these consumers have little say over the circumstances," said Siciliano. "What’s even worse, however, is that an overwhelming majority of professionals responsible for all this data won’t even report a breach to the consumers whose information is involved. U.S. consumers can assume that the scenario over here is similar to that in the United Kingdom, and they really have only one practical option: to exercise better control over their identifying information by turning to services such as One You’s, which transforms the Social Security number into something of little use to financial fraudsters."
Subscribers to One You Security receive newsletters and special alerts from Siciliano. Through these, they get the latest information on data breaches and learn more about identity theft prevention. 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.
A study has found that 61 percent of marketing professionals in the United Kingdom experienced a data breach involving consumers’ confidential information during the 24 months leading up to an announcement in June of a report exploring the matter: the 2008 UK Study on Email Marketing Practices & Privacy. Alarmingly, these same professionals failed nine out of every 10 times to report the news to affected consumers, citing that they "were either not required to, or were unsure whether they had to," according to the Ponemon Institute’s survey of 900 data protection professionals and marketing professionals in the United Kingdom.
The research, commissioned by StrongMail, placed e-mail marketing ahead of not only other Internet marketing methods, but also telemarketing and direct mail outbound marketing channels, in the risks it poses to U.K. consumer data. Additionally, the research revealed, U.K. firms that outsourced their e-mail marketing efforts (60 percent of them, in all) saw a 28 percent increase in data breaches.
"Consumers have already lost control of their actual data to businesses, which have access to it from numerous sources and can use it for numerous purposes," said Chris Harris, president and CEO of One You Security. "But, despite the circumstances, consumers still haven’t lost control of their financial identities. Their information may already be out there, but by employing services such as One You, they can defuse their Social Security numbers’ capacity to help thieves who would otherwise use the digits to commit financial fraud."
Consumers who choose One You Security do so in part because the company strives to transform their Social Security numbers into meaningless strings of digits 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 the ubiquity of Social Security numbers as universal identifiers helps thieves online and off-line. 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.
The media are encouraged to get in touch with any of the following individuals:
CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com
Chief Security Analyst for One You Security
PHONE: 888-SICILIANO (742-4542)
FAX: 877-2-FAX-NOW (232-9669)