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Checklist to protect your identity

04 May 2010

“This interactivetool is like a multiple choice quiz,” says Privacy Commissioner, Marie Shroff.“Users can work through a series of questions on eleven different topics: forinstance how well they protect information in their wallet, their mailbox or ontheir computer.”

The test takes just a few minutes and includes questionssuch as:

  • Do you leave your laptop in your car? 
  • Do you shred old mail with your name and details on?
  • Do you keep your user names and passwords secret?
  •  Do you use a password on your mobile phone?
  • Do you let bar or restaurant staff take away your creditcard? 
“Users get a score indicating how open they are to identitytheft,” says Shroff. “They can then check out the simple tips on each topic tohelp protect themselves better in the future.

“We’re delighted with the very positive feedback that wehave had about the online tool from businesses such as banks, and from agenciessuch as the Police that deal with identity crime. We all know that identitycrime is a growing problem around the world, and that it can be very costly anddistressing. People need some easy ways to help protect themselves. It’s greatthat the experts in identity crime think that what we have done is useful.”

The identity theft test was originally developed for theNorwegian data protection commissioner who shared it with the Asia PacificPrivacy Authorities (privacy commissioners from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong,Korea and New Zealand). The Asia-Pacific commissioners then worked together toadapt some of the questions for use in this region. The test is being releasedtoday in countries around the Pacific as part of Asia Pacific Privacy AwarenessWeek.

“International privacy commissioners are increasinglypooling their resources and expertise to develop information like this toassist the public,” says Shroff. “This excellent privacy tool is yet anotherexample of how smart and effective it is to work collaboratively withinternational partners.”

To try out the identity theft self-test tool, go towww.privacyawarenessweek.org and click on the ID theft link.