Identity Theft Protection Program Offered Free to UT Dallas Computer Users

April 2, 2008

To reduce the risk of Identity theft, Chief Information Security Officer Leah Teutsch has announced that the UT Dallas Information Security Office is providing the Identity Finder application to all University faculty, staff and students at no cost.

As we become more reliant on technology, an increasing amount of private information is being stored on our computers.  Identity theft occurs when someone uses this private information to commit fraud. The Federal Trade Commission estimates approximately 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year.

Identity Finder searches computers for personally identifiable information such as passwords, Social Security, credit card and bank account numbers.  It gives individuals the opportunity to protect their data and keep it out of the hands of criminals on the Internet.

“People often use the same password across the board,” said UT Dallas Senior Information Security Analyst Rick Holland.  Many people will use the same password for their personal e-mail, work e-mail and online banking accounts.  So finding a password on a computer can be compared to finding the master key to a building; all doors can now easily be opened.

When identity thieves find an individual’s personal passwords, it can be a threat to every aspect of a person’s digital life.  In the University environment, when thieves find a password to UT Dallas computing resources, this becomes a threat  to the entire University.

Once Identity Finder is installed on your Windows computer and has completed a search, it provides the option to securely delete information or move it to a more secure location.  For University-owned equipment, the Information Security Office also provides the option to encrypt confidential and sensitive data if it is required for business reasons.

UT Dallas purchased the Identity Finder program as part of the Information Security Action Plan being developed under the umbrella of UT System Policy 165 (UTS165), which requires the protection of confidential information.   There are two versions of the product, one for use on campus and one for use at home.

Visit the Information Security Web site to learn how to get Identity Finder.


More information: Identity Finder project site, UT Dallas, http://www.utdallas.edu/ir/security/PoliciesIdentityFinder.htm

FTC Identity Theft suite, http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/index.htm

Media contact: Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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