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Sharing More Than You Intended?

Peer-to-Peer File Sharing May Be 2008's Greatest Identity Theft Threat: Identity Finder Software Provides Solution

New York -- (February 12, 2008) -- According to the Identity Theft Assistance Center, throughout 2008 "criminals will continue to exploit new technologies to commit identity theft." At the top of their list of "major event" security breaches from 2007 is a case involving a peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing network. The SANS Institute has identified file sharing applications as one of the most crucial internet security vulnerabilities. Kids & Digital Content reports that 70 percent of kids ages 9 through 14 are downloading digital music and The NPD Group has stated, "high levels of illegal peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing" are attributed as the source of those downloads. "Despite the severe risk of using P2P networks, their popularity is on the rise," says Todd Feinman, CEO of Identity Finder. He adds that, "Millions of Americans use file sharing to download music, movies, and games over the Internet, but don't realize they're inadvertently letting strangers download their own, their colleagues -- or, in the case of kids, their parents' -- financial and personal files. Our unique software provides a simple, affordable solution to protect personal information from file sharing and other privacy risks."

The problem with many of the P2P applications is that they often lead to an individual sharing everything on his or her computer! Last month, Mary Engle of the Federal Trade Commission stated, "We're concerned that consumers may accidentally share folders that contain private documents that they don't intend to share." The danger here is clear, as it is commonly acknowledged that criminals now troll file sharing networks for the sole purpose of finding sensitive data that can be used to commit identity theft.

Identity Finder has the ability to automatically find SSNs, credit cards, bank accounts, and passwords inside files, e-mails, and web browsers. It then helps individuals securely delete the data or protect the information with encryption. "By installing Identity Finder, enterprises and individuals alike can stay one step ahead of the criminals and effectively offset most vulnerabilities associated with file sharing applications," explains Feinman.

Below are two examples of 2007's "major events" involving file sharing. In both cases, if the victims had used Identity Finder to locate their personal information, they could have verified that their file sharing program did not expose them. If the victims used Identity Finder to protect that information, it would have been unreadable by anyone who downloaded it.

September 2007 -- Over 5,000 social security numbers and other personal information on customers of Citigroup's ABN Amro Mortgage Group were exposed over a P2P file sharing network. A former business analyst joined a file sharing network where people trade music and video. Work-related information that she had downloaded onto her personal computer was inadvertently shared.

June 2007 -- Over 17,000 social security numbers of current and former Pfizer employees were exposed by a laptop owned by Pfizer and used by an employee. The employee's spouse used a P2P file sharing program and inadvertently shared documents containing the personal information.

About Identity Finder:

Identity Finder is a division of Velosecure LLC, a leading niche innovator of security and privacy technologies. Founded in 2001 and headquartered in New York City, the company specializes in developing software solutions that meet business and consumer needs. Best known for Identity Finder and Velosecure CAM, the company's technologies have been used by thousands of organizations in more than 40 countries. The management team is a thought leader in the industry and has been internationally published.

SOURCE: Identity Finder
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