SOURCE: MyPublicInfo

August 22, 2005 11:00 ET

Citizens Have a New Tool to Help Them Take Control of Their Identities

BOSTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 22, 2005 -- IDTheftSecurity.com -- Identity theft affects more than credit scores and bank accounts. By assuming another's identity, someone can commit crimes of all sorts and never face the consequences. The aftermath of identity theft can affect a person's job and reputation for years to come, with no easy way to repair the damage.

"It's the job of all citizens to monitor activity taking place under their names," said Robert Siciliano, a nationally televised identity theft and personal security expert. Siciliano and Arlington, VA-based MyPublicInfo provide the tool to do so: the Public Information Profile (PIP), available at Siciliano's Web site, http://www.idtheftsecurity.com.

"Every citizen has a responsibility to stave the identity theft pandemic," said Siciliano. "While we all have the right to expect industry and government to rise to the challenges of identity theft, we can -- and must -- do a lot, ourselves, to make sure nothing is awry with our identities."

Siciliano is author of "The Safety Minute: 01" and an upcoming book, "Identity Theft Pandemic: Curing the Identity Theft Virus." He appeared on CNBC's "The Closing Bell" shortly after high-profile data breaches highlighted the problem of identity theft earlier this year.

MyPublicInfo's PIP gives consumers unique and unparalled access to their public records. The tool helps them in two main ways. Anyone who obtains one can view public records connected to his name and see information accessible to other people performing background checks. It is the first tool to provide consumers with user-friendly, complete, and legally conforming personal profiles of aggregated public information.

Citizens can obtain a PIP by going to Siciliano's Web site, http://www.idtheftsecurity.com/, and clicking on the "MyPublicInfo" logo.

"Over the past year, the rash of data thefts has led consumers to feel powerless," said Dr. Harold Kraft, CEO of MyPublicInfo. "The PIP, checked regularly, empowers consumers; peace of mind no longer depends on the whim of an identity thief."

"Terrorists could enter the country under stolen identities," said Siciliano. "I can't think of a more intuitive, comprehensive way than the PIP tool for American citizens to take control of their identities and help Homeland Security."

"I have viewed my own PIP," Siciliano added. "It was a momentous experience. Citizens will be surprised by the information that floats around online and in public records. This is all potentially available to criminals, and it only makes sense for each and every citizen to keep tabs on it."

Government is beginning to recognize that citizens deserve power when it comes to their own identities. An article in the Aug. 17 edition of Insurance Journal reported the passing of the Information Security and Notification Act in New York State. Once it takes effect in December 2005, the law will require businesses to inform New York residents when financial and personal information has been compromised.

"A handful of states have enacted legislation like New York's Information Security and Notification Act," said Siciliano, "but the measures are reactive, and many states provide little protection.

"Citizens cannot afford to wait," Siciliano concluded. "The best course of action is to be proactive when it comes to identity theft. A PIP makes action all the more possible. I encourage all my clients to use it."

Siciliano provides consumer education solutions to Fortune 500 companies and their clients. He has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, "ABC News with Sam Donaldson," "The Montel Williams Show," "Maury Povich," "Sally Jesse Raphael" and "The Howard Stern Show." Siciliano also leads personal safety and security seminars nationwide.

Siciliano can be reached at 1 (888) SICILIANO (742-4542). The URL www.idtheftsecurity.com leads to his Web site. His blog is at www.IDTheftSecurity.blogspot.com.

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