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March 2006

This chapter is from the book

WEDNESDAY: MARCH 15, 2006

THIS WEEK’S FOCUS: Computer Security and Privacy

DEALING WITH IDENTITY THEFT

If you find that someone has stolen your personal information—especially your Social Security and credit card numbers—you should take the following steps, immediately:

  • Contact the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union) and report that your identity has been stolen. Ask that a "fraud alert" be placed on your file and that no new credit be granted without your approval.

  • For any credit card, loan, or banking accounts that have been accessed or opened without your approval, contact the security departments of the appropriate creditors or financial institutions. Close these accounts, and create new passwords on any replacement accounts you open.

  • File a report with your local police department or with the police where you believe the identity theft took place. Get a copy of this report in case your bank, credit card company, or other institutions need proof of the crime at some later date.

  • File a complaint with the FTC by calling 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338) or going to http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft/.

ON THIS DAY: ADOBE AND ALDUS MERGE (1994)

PageMaker used to be the big desktop publishing program, and it was published by Adobe. That’s not entirely correct. You see, PageMaker was developed by Aldus Corporation, which merged with (or rather, into) Adobe Systems on this date in 1994.

HARDWARE OF THE WEEK: KEYSPAN USB MINI HUB

Here’s a USB hub that’s no bigger than a credit card—and only 1 centimeter thick. This four-port hub is a great way to add more USB peripherals to your PC, without sacrificing a lot of desk space. Buy it for $49.99 at http://www.keyspan.com.

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