Your personal information is valuable and you have the right to keep it private. Personal Information is not only the key to your financial identity, but also to your online identity. Knowing how to protect your information and your identity is a must in the 21st century. You have the right to know how to stop annoying unsolicited commercial messages, protect your children online, and reduce your risk of identity theft. This page contains articles, resources and websites to help protect consumer privacy and security.

Articles on Consumer Privacy and Security:

Consumer Tips: Top Ten Opt Outs

Fed up with unsolicited marketing telephone calls and mailings? This list contains the opt-outs that are useful for consumer privacy and security. This list is provided by the  World Privacy Forum which is a nonprofit, non-partisan 501(C)(3) public interest research group with the aim to empower people with the knowledge, rights and tools they need to protect their consumer privacy and security and shape their digital lives.

Consumer Privacy and Security: A Top Consumer Trend for 2017

In our volatile world, consumers are anxious to stay safe and well. The focus is on personal safety and that of loved ones. There is a greater leaning towards home and mobile cocooning. Consumers also experience hope, mixed with a tinge of distrust, in the promise of artificial intelligence and tech to keep us from harm in an uncertain world.

Resources on Consumer Privacy and Security:

Do Not Call Registry

The most popular program run by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), it promotes consumer privacy by allowing consumers to list their telephone numbers they don’t want called by telemarketers. Telemarketers are required by the FTC to check with the Do Not Call Registry before they institute telemarketing campaigns. It may take up to 30 days after registering on the Do Not Call Registry for telemarketers to update their lists and the calls to stop. The Do Not Call Registry does not apply to non-profit or political organizations. The FTC aggressively protects consumer privacy by enforcing the Do Not Call Registry and has levied penalties against telemarketers in excess of $300 million.

Free Credit Reports

Your credit report should contain only accurate information as it is the basis for so many important life decisions such as buying a home, car, getting a loan or securing employment. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. The FCRA promotes the accuracy and privacy of information in the files of the nation’s credit reporting companies. A credit report includes information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you’ve been sued or have filed for bankruptcy. This is critical consumer privacy information. Nationwide credit reporting companies sell the information in your report to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that use it to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home.

Protecting Your Kids Online

Here are resources to help you talk to your children about their experiences and behaviors online as well as resources to protect your children’s online activities. Topics addressed include: Cyberbullying; Kids’ Online Safety; Kids and Computer Security; Phishing; P2P File-Sharing; Kids and Mobile Phones; Kids and Socializing Online; Kids and Virtual Worlds; Kids and Safe Texting; Video Games; Parental Controls, Rights and Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Report identity theft and get a recovery plan

This is a valuable resource if you believe someone has stolen your identify. It’s important to act quickly. Here’s an overview of your rights when recovering from identity theft. If someone is using your information to open new accounts or make purchases, report it and get help. If someone steals your identity, you have the right to: create an FTC Identity Theft Report; place a 90-day initial fraud alert on your credit report; place a seven-year extended fraud alert on your credit report; get free copies of your credit report; get fraudulent information removed (or “blocked”) from your credit report; dispute fraudulent or inaccurate information on your credit report; stop creditors and debt collectors from reporting fraudulent accounts; get copies of documents related to the identity theft; and stop a debt collector from contacting you.

 Game to Learn Data Security (ENTER – IT)

Fake identities, red herrings and open wifi networks: The puzzle game ENTER – IT Security Game tests your feel for digital loopholes.

Your route leads through various stations, where you collect information, to an anniversary celebration at the headquarters of ‘Grandcorps’. Distract the party-goers and steal the biggest diamond in the world, the Lesedi La Rona! Use the employees’ carelessness and your technical expertise to trick information out of the service providers and come closer to the Grandcorps diamond, step by step. But be careful not to attract too much attention before your big coup – if the employees get too suspicious, your cover is blown!

Note: This game serves as an IT security awareness program and was made possible by the Swiss IT Leadership Forum. The game is public up to and including level 2. From level 3, players must identify themselves as members of a participating firm.

Websites on Consumer Privacy and Security:

Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission is the primary U.S. watchdog agency for consumer privacy and protection. The FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection stops unfair, deceptive and fraudulent business practices by collecting complaints and conducting investigations, suing companies and people that break the law, developing rules to maintain a fair marketplace, and educating consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities. State Consumer Protection Offices

Find your state’s consumer protection offices tasked with consumer privacy and security issues.