California Student Records to be Disclosed in Ongoing Lawsuit

The Identity Theft Resource Center and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse want to alert all parents of school-aged children throughout California about a pending deadline to object to the potential release of their child’s sensitive personal identifying information. The deadline for parents and adult students to object to the disclosure of personal information and records is April 1, 2016.

Tax Season Fraud Prevention Tips

Tax season is here, and with it come scammers and identity thieves hoping to profit.  Here are Privacy Rights Clearinghouse’s (PRC) top tips and resources to help you protect your privacy, your money, and your identity.  

Reduce the risk of your mail falling into the wrong hands. You should take steps to protect sensitive information year round, but during tax season you will likely receive a number of “information returns” containing sensitive information such as your Social Security number.

Organized Sports and Privacy

Organized sports are a great way to keep kids engaged, teach them new skills, and provide them with an opportunity to socialize with other kids.  Privacy isn’t likely to be top of mind when you enroll your kids in sports, but it is important to note that leagues often gather a tremendous amount of personal and potentially sensitive information pertaining to your child and even you.  If it isn’t handled properly, there is an increased risk that the information could be compromised and even lead to identity theft or financial fraud.

Giving Tuesday

giving tues logo

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse appreciates your ongoing support and generosity. Each donation to our organization, however small, contributes directly to our growing privacy education resources and helps us to broaden the community we serve.

This year, on Tuesday, December 1st, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse will be participating in Giving Tuesday, a global day dedicated to giving. Giving Tuesday is a worldwide movement and an opportunity for everyone to give back to their community by showing support for the nonprofit organizations they care about.

Protecting Your Privacy While Holiday Shopping

With the holiday shopping season upon us, stores and malls will probably be busier. Shoppers may need to deal with frantic conditions and are more likely to let their guard down than during other times of the year.  Scam artists and fraudsters know this, so they will be waiting for you to be forgetful or make a mistake.  Privacy Rights Clearinghouse wants you to know how you can help protect your privacy while shopping.

Keeping Your Children Safe While They’re Online

There are many applications that our children use to talk to their friends, gather information and express themselves.  As parents, we want the Internet to be a safe and enjoyable experience for our children and teens. But we may not know all the resources available to us to make that happen. Below are some basic privacy tips and useful resources.

Teens are the most vulnerable due to the amount of time they spend online. According to a study by Pew Research, “92% of teens report going online daily including 24% who say they go online ‘almost constantly’. More than half (56%) of teens, defined in this report as those ages 13-17, go online several times a day, and 12% report once-a-day use. Just 6% of teens report going online weekly, and 2% go online less often.”

Here are a few tips to keep your kids and their information safe while online.

New Chip-Enabled Credit and Debit Cards: What Do They Mean for You?

Now that an October 1, 2015 deadline has passed, many credit and debit card issuers are replacing older magnetic stripe credit and debit cards with new chip-enabled cards. Likewise, some retailers are updating point-of-sale card readers at their cash registers to accept these chip-enabled cards.

What are chip cards?

Chip cards are another name for EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) cards, which use a global standard for authenticating card transactions. EMV cards are “smart” cards that have a chip embedded into the card. Unlike traditional credit cards, EMV cards need not rely upon the magnetic stripe on the back of the card. EMV cards provide greater security than traditional cards and have been the standard in Europe for years.

Parents: How Much Should You Share Online When it Comes to Your Kids?

We live in a “social world.”   Parents have many opportunities to disclose information about their children in social forums – by posting family news and photos on Facebook, tweeting your child’s latest accomplishments in sports, even launching a blog.

Social media can be a great tool for parents, but how do you know when you are sharing too much information about your kids?

This is largely a matter of personal choice, but it is important to be aware that the burden generally falls on parents to protect their children’s privacy.   As is often the case, it is easier to be proactive than reactive. 

Here are three very basic points to bear in mind before you share information about your child on social media.

Debt collector or scam artist? Know how to spot a fake

As we become increasingly reliant on digital data, we sometimes take for granted that the companies we entrust with our information are taking the necessary steps to keep it safe. Many are, but many are still way behind and that is what the hackers, cybercriminals and scam artists are counting on.

The fake debt collector scam is particularly disturbing. While the scam isn’t a new one, criminals are finding innovative ways to accomplish their goals of stealing your money, your identity, or both.

Recently, the database of a national collection and debt service company was breached. Specific information about individuals was accessed, including the amount of debt owed, names, phone numbers, addresses, co-signer information, and Social Security numbers. Fraudsters then posed as legitimate debt collectors. With such a vast knowledge of the account holders’ information, an individual would have little reason to be suspicious.

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