Shop Smart: Help Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

| Total Words: 351

Identity theft is a growing problem that consumers can no longer afford to ignore.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in 2003, consumers in the U.S. alone lost $5 billion to identity theft while the problem cost businesses a whopping $48 billion. On average, people who experienced identity theft that year had to spend $1,495 and 607 hours to resolve their cases.

The federal government is taking decisive steps, including enactment of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, which requires retailers to properly dispose of and destroy sensitive consumer data.

While this is a positive step, what if there were a way in which consumers and merchants could help prevent identity theft from happening in the first place?

Technology: A Helpful Deterrent to Identity Theft

Research by the FTC indicates that identity thefts are increasingly fueled by customer information found in the trash.

One simple way for independent merchants to rectify the trash issue is to automate their point of sale with software technology such as that from Microsoft Corp.

Retailers that choose technology wisely can offer their...

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