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What can I do to prevent identity theft?

Michael Chertoff, the former head of Homeland Security, suggests that companies and consumers think about their data security in the same way they think about hygiene. In fact, he coined the phrase "cyber hygiene."

The idea is to practice good data habits every day. These include using strong, unique passwords, hiring contractors with E&O Insurance, following IT security protocol, limiting access to sensitive data, updating your software immediately when patches become available, etc.

Good habits will go a long way to prevent data breaches. But you need to make sure all your employees follow this routine, which can be easier said than done. Also, talk with your IT consultants about what security policies will protect your business. For more, see the "How to Protect Your Business from Identity Theft: Prevention."

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