Rebecca Herold
The Privacy
Tip of the Month 

It's Independence Day, but you may not be celebrating online freedom.



A hot topic lately? Businesses limiting and restricting employees' web-based activities -- even those (especially those!) that are business-related.

I recently spoke with a room full of corporate ethics officers and was interested to find, as result of an impromptu poll I took, that none of them had Twitter accounts, only a handful were on Facebook... but all of them actively used LinkedIn.

Over half of the corporate officers using LinkedIn had implemented policies prohibiting their employees from writing recommendations for other current or previous employees; even if they didn't identify their companies as being their employers.

These types of restrictions -- in addition to those that prevent employees from writing recommendations of partner companies, suppliers or other associates -- are becoming relatively standard in corporate culture.

Do you know your company's policies for such online activities? Before you make an innocent post that may violate them (and starts some fireworks of your own) be sure to do some research.  

You might think your online posts are private -- seen only by your friends and family -- but did you know there are automated tools that scan the web for keywords, topics and phrases? These tools can then store, report and repeat your posted information, effectively rendering it out of your control for eternity... even if you deleted it within seconds. Such regrettably posted information could come back to haunt you.

Tip #1: Before posting any type of information online, pause and think "Would it be okay for anyone in the world to see or hear what I am about to put online?" When in doubt, don't post it.

On June 25, The White House unveiled the "National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace." A major element of this plan is reducing identity theft cases. Although there are more processes in place to control identity theft than ever before, there are also more ways to commit this type of crime. We all must be aware of what we do with our own personal information and take necessary steps to prevent being a victim of identity theft.

Mari Frank is one of the world's most imminent experts on the topic, as she was once an identity theft victim, and as a prominent lawyer and professor, has for years been leading the crusade against identity theft. 
I recently recorded an interview for Mari's Privacy Piracy radio show which aired on June 21, and it's worth a listen. Check it out by clicking here. I am quite FRANK on Mari Frank's show (and so is she!) because when it comes to information privacy and security, straight talk from credible sources is what gets results.

Tip #2: Take responsibility for protecting yourself from identity theft by minimizing the amount of personal information you share with others. Also, keep up with the most current ways to protect yourself, family and friends -- the radio show in the link above goes into greater detail.

(Psst...If you like what you hear, Mari has some fantastic identity theft prevention books that most people could certainly benefit from reading.)

I can't say this enough -- we're all in this together. Let's stay safe.

Thank you for reading, and have a spectacular Fourth of July!


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Rebecca Herold & Associates, LLC
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