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DIGITAL OVER-EXPOSURE AND THE BARE-NAKED AMERICAN. Protecting Personal Identifying Information. Rick Blazek, PhD. Robert Morris University. Protecting Personal Identifying Information PII.

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Protecting Personal Identifying Information

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Presentation Transcript
protecting personal identifying information pii
Protecting Personal Identifying Information PII

Personal identity theft is not new, but this form of theft has become easy as our lives become more digital.

what is pii

What is PII?

The cost to businesses worldwide adds up to a staggering $221 billion each year.-IBM 2011 Security Report

10% of Americans have had their identities stolen, and on average, each of those individuals lost around $5,000.-

  • Javelin Research. "The study, which surveyed around 5,000 Americans last year about their experiences with identity theft, calculated that ID fraud had cost around $54 billion in 2009"-
  • "In 2009 the average data breach cost the affected business $6.75 million, up from $6.65 million in 2008, according to a Ponemon Institute "
  • Cost of Identity Theft Rises 63% : "the average cost to victims rose by 63% from $387 in 2009 to more than $600 in 2010." -
the pii black market
The PII Black Market
  • Paypal accounts for sale
your credit card
Your Credit Card?
social engineering
Social Engineering
  • Social engineering and being human
r isky behaviors
Risky Behaviors
  • At risk behaviors and risk aversive people. (The risk of being an avid bike rider.)
  • Use of computers to store and transfer PII
    • Using a smart phone (sharing regularly)
    • Location aware applications (phone, tablet) and embedded information (camera)
      • Online shopping
      • Online banking
      • Online social networking (social media)


Carrier IQ:

The spyware Poison in your Phone

  • Awareness (reveal only what you wish to lose). View every item on your computer and the Internet as though it were public. Removal is almost impossible. The Wayback Machine
  • Asking questions (choose your poison carefully).
    • Why Google and Facebook may not be your friends. SEOptimization, privacy is dead, your friends can make you sick, guard your children.
  • Protecting your computer/phone
  • Protecting your browsing
  • Protecting your social sharing
  • Protecting your bank accounts, investments, and access cards (one-time use numbers)
  • Checking often (but carefully), setting up notifications
  • Hiring a digital body guard
is your computer for rent
Is Your Computer for Rent?
  • Krebs-
  • Mules --

24 yr old discovers Facebook

has 1200 pages of stored info on him

what can you do
What can you do?
  • https settings in Facebook
  •  scan facebook privacy settings
  • A page:


DEFEND against identity theft as soon as you suspect

a problem.

  • Place a “Fraud Alert” on your credit reports by calling any one of the
  • three nationwide credit reporting companies:
    • Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
    • Experian: 1-888-397-3742
    • TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
    • Review reports carefully, looking for fraudulent activity
  • Close accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently
  • File a police report
  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission

DETECT suspicious activity by routinely monitoring your financial

accounts and billing statements.

  • Be alert
    • Mail or bills that don’t arrive
    • Denials of credit for no reason
  • Inspect your credit report
    • Law entitles you to one free report a year from each nationwide
    • credit reporting agencies if you ask for it
    • Online:; by phone: 1-877-322-8228;
    • or by mail: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281,
    • Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
  • Inspect your financial statements
    • Look for charges you didn’t make