WASHINGTON (12/19/07)—Personal financial data security issues have all but been supplanted as a topic on Capitol Hill by the pressing concerns regarding the subprime mortgage and credit markets, but data security problems still loom large for financial services providers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), however, will be moving into 2008 with a program to spread the word on data protection. The FTC this week held a briefing for to reveal two key elements of its plan. First, the agency noted, it will schedule a series of regional workshops, the first of which is slated for April 2008 in Chicago. The workshops will explore steps an individual organization can take to protect itself from identity rip-offs and fraud, as well as mitigating actions after an event has occurred. The FTC said it will also be making staff experts available as speakers for outside organizations’ seminars and conferences. The FTC reiterated the precepts of its AVOID ID Theft program, which essentially is a how-to guide to protect against ID theft. Materials disseminated through the AVOID program address ways to: detect suspicious activity; deter identity thieves through safeguarding information; and defend against information theft promptly once there is a suspicion of a problem. The FTC also said it is now promoting a new website featuring data security information, including a 20 minute tutorial. The site, the FTC indicated, describes five steps of a sound data security plans:
* Take stock - know what personal info you have; * Scale down - keep only what you need for your business; * Lock it - protect the information you keep; * Pitch it – but carefully--properly dispose of data you don’t need anymore; and * Look ahead – have a plan in case your data is breached.
Use the resource link below to access the FTC website information.