Massachusetts Governor Signs into Law Comprehensive Identity Theft Prevention Legislation

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Massachusetts governor signs into law comprehensive identity theft prevention legislation.

Governor Deval Patrick from Massachusetts announced today that he signed into law comprehensive identity theft prevention legislation. This new law will require Massachusetts state residents be notified immediately if their personal information has been lost or stolen via security breaches with businesses and government agencies.

As a part of the legislation, the law also states that consumers have the right to freeze their credit reports to prevent new accounts from being fraudulently opened and also puts into effect strict standards for businesses when disposing of personal information.

The portion of the law that puts into place the standards for disposing of personal information is a step in the right direction to identity theft prevention. But allowing a consumer to freeze their credit report does not prevent the theft -- it only gives them notification that the theft has happened and illegal activity is being committed. The personal information is already in the hands of the wrong people. When personal information, such as social security numbers, drivers' license numbers or bank account information is in the hands of a thief, an emotional and expensive mess is left for the victim to clean up.

"Of the millions of victims of identity theft last year, over half of them had crimes committed against them that had nothing to do with a credit card or loan. This would not be picked up by a credit report," says Michael J. Durnack, president and CEO of Identity Defense. Durnack goes on to say, "The black market is booming for individuals' names and IDs for thieves to sell, which creates more of an incentive for hackers to obtain them in mass quantities. The problem is going to get worse before it gets better."

The end to this problem can be as simple as consumer education. Identity Defense has created a proprietary ID risk assessment that categorizes the threat level of an individual's risk to identity theft. When the assigned ID risk level has been determined, personalized recommendations for modifying habits and behaviors to reduce risk are offered with Identity Defense's Customized Personal Report (CPR). The process is simple and gives the consumer control of his personal information.

Durnack states, "This is comparable to fire prevention, not firefighting."

IdentityDefense.com is a consultancy committed to helping individuals defend their identity from theft and fraud. An innovative and proprietary set of tools have been developed to help quantify vulnerability and create personalized recommendations for modifying habits and behaviors to reduce risk with Identity Defense's Customized Personal Report (CPR). These tools are provided to individuals online at http://www.IdentityDefense.com and also offered directly to financial institutions, credit unions and financial planners to offer their customers tangible Identity Defense solutions.

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Mary Francher Sanefski
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