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Seminar shows how to keep identity safe

Prevention is vital to keeping personal information safe from thieves.

George Greenwood has, since February, 2005, provided information and awareness to thousands of people throughout Western Canada.  His primary message to those who attend his seminars is "we need to change our habits in order to reduce our risk and decrease our vulnerability of being the target of an identity thief."

He will hold another seminar on Wednesday. The program, entitled "Keeping Your Identity Safe", is  free of charge.

It will be held at the Best Western Langley Inn,  5978 Glover Rd., on Wednesday, March 9. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the presentation starting at 7 p.m. and going until  8:30 p.m.

The event has been sponsored by Pam Stadnik of Re/Max Treeland Realty as a community service.  The event is open and free to everyone to attend, however it is asked that those interested e-mail their intentions to reducerisk@telus.net,

Greenwood says that "While education is a big part of this change, so is advocacy.  That is getting the provincial and federal governments to accept that change needs to take place as well. On the done side, Identity theft is now a part of the Canadian Criminal Code (section 402.1). The areas that we are still pushing forward on are:

— The need for mandatory, uniform and consistent trunction (the "x"ing of credit card numbers on electronic cash register receipts.

- Mandatory manufacturing changes to how commercial digital photocopiers store what has been copied into  hard drives.

— Photos on our BC CareCards

— The creation of a victim ID document administered as part of the BC ID card or driver's licence.

- Mandatory disclosure by a business to a customer if personal information has been lost or stolen."

Identity theft continues to grow.  Mail stills gets stolen, theft from auto continues to increase to an all-time high, with vehicle registration papers often being the thief's target. There are also credit card frauds, and the misuse of radio frequency within the new credit cards, Nexus cards, enhanced driver's licences and soon Canadian passports.

Knowledge and awareness is the only way to get through this techno jungle.  This is 2011, and most people operate as if it were 1991.  One of the purposes of this session is to get opinion and feedback on these or other needed issues related to identity loss or privacy issues.