News & Resources

Only give out information when necessary, identity theft experts say

Jan 13, 2011 Brian Bradley

According to many technology experts, more and more cases of fraud are connected to identity theft, leaving many vulnerable to having their information used to run up credit card debts and other expenses. In a recent interview with, privacy expert Kirk Nahra said that people should only give out personal information, such as Social Security numbers, when it is necessary. By protecting the sensitive information, people everywhere can prevent fraudsters from getting their hands on key data that can be used to open accounts under their name. "The Social Security number is the key to the kingdom of almost every type of identity theft," said attorney Mari Frank in an interview with the site. "It's the key to medical-benefit theft, government-benefit theft, you name it. We have to look at what companies can do to protect against risks from outsiders, and we have to look at what companies can do to police their own workforce," Nahra added. She says "limiting where you have the information, how you use the information and not giving out information unless it is absolutely necessary" are crucial. According to recently released statistics from the Identity Theft Resource Center, there were 662 data breaches in the U.S. in 2010. The study revealed that there had been a 33 percent increase from the year before.