Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Small businesses need to heed the FACTA Shredder Law; New product "Identity Finder" and pre-protect personal info


As far back as 2005, the FTC warned small businesses that keep customer personal information that they must “shred or else”. Even mom-and-pop shops face fines if they lose personal information. There is a column all the way back in May 2005 “Identity Theft 911” describing the Fair Accurate Transaction Act (or FACTA). To comply with the FACTA Disposal Rule (or “Shredder Law”) Businesses must shred documents and destroy electronic data (not merely delete it), although they may hire third party vendors to do these things.

A copy of the text of the law is at this link at the Government Printing Office (GPO) site.

I do not process transactions with individual people now, although in the past (well before 2005) I have sold copies of my book directly to people. According to the law, I would have to destroy their name and address information.

Here’s another item: Fortune Small Business has an article by Jennifer Alsever, “Steal Your Own Identity: New software sniffs out personal information before hackers can get to it”. The CNN Money link for the story has web URL here. The product is called “Identity Finder” (link) which will scan your PC for personal information, show you individual items and ask you if you want to encrypt the item.

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