Monday, July 30, 2007

US Chamber & FTC Program for Local Chamber Members

Identity theft is a rising crisis that your chamber, employees, member companies and individuals face on a daily basis. To help address this important issue, the Federal Trade Commission has reached out to the U.S. Chamber with a special FREE offer for local chambers of commerce. As part of the U.S. Chamber’s Data Security Campaign and our Data Security Toolkit is the FTC’s information will help inform business owners about how to protect themselves and their businesses from identity theft, the importance of protecting consumer information and working to reduce fraud.

Below is more information from the FTC about this program. It is designed to be easy to take action on and will significantly decrease your chances of having your database compromised. Please take a moment to review the information below from the FTC. I hope that you will find the Information Security Handbook useful and that you will take the FTC up on their offer to provide you with articles and information for your newsletters and invite them to speak at your meetings.

Most chambers keep sensitive personal information in their files and on their computers, such as tax records, payroll information, financial data from suppliers, and credit card numbers from members. This information is the key to identity thieves being able to drain bank accounts, open bogus lines of credit and shopping sprees at the expense of your customers, employees and your bottom line. If sensitive data falls into the wrong hands, it can lead to fraud or identity theft.

Security breaches could be easily prevented by common sense measures that cost next to nothing. A sound data security plan is built on five key principles:
Take stock. Know what personal information you have in your files and on your computers.
Scale down. Keep only what you need for your business.
Lock it. Protect the information you keep.
Pitch it. Properly dispose of what you no longer need.
Plan ahead. Create a plan to respond to security incidents.

The FTC is offering FREE resources to help you spread the word to your members that good information security is good business. The FTC offers a variety of resources such as:

Information Security Handbook: “Protecting Personal Information: A Guide for Business," is a 24-page plain language brochure with practical tips for security sensitive data. Chambers should consider sending this link to their membership and encourage them to order free copies for their staff. Visit the page for buttons you can include on your own website.

Newsletter/Email: The FTC will provide you with “Drop in” copy for your newsletter or email. It will include no-nonsense data security tips ready for your next newsletter or email. These can run under your byline or as a guest column by FTC staff. To download the articles directly from the FTC and click on PUBLISH THE ARTICLES.

Speaker for Conference or Meeting: Looking for a conference or meeting topic that is on everyone’s mind? The FTC has knowledgeable speakers who can discuss information security and identity theft prevention. Contact Lesley Fair, or Nat Wood, to see if an FTC staff member is available on the date of your next event.

No comments:

Post a Comment