Guest Writer: Suzanne Barber

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Identity Management: Gain control over your personal data with IDWise

Identity theft and fraud is growing – day by day, minute by minute. The news is filled with new data breaches and lost personal information to cyber criminals both here at home and abroad. As the problem itself gets bigger and more pervasive, we risk a secondary problem: crisis fatigue.

It’s human nature to feel fatigued by bad news. When the problems pile up, when it seems that it’s out of our control to stop it or make things better, we tune out. We turn off the news. We don’t head the precautions. We think that it is out of our hands. The criminal is always one step ahead, so why bother?

The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Identity believes that identity management is possible. The Center focuses on identity theft and fraud, offers tools to regain control, and strives to empower those most vulnerable. We offer ways to protect and safeguard your most sensitive information so you regain -and maintain- control. We’ve decided to conduct our lives on the Internet: it’s where we shop, stay in touch with friends and family, get work done, sometimes even fall in love. As parents and business leaders, policy makers and educators, we need to be able to teach our citizens the new rules of staying safe in our digital society.

The Center saw the need for a tool that makes the new rules of protecting personal information simple, clear, and empowering. On October 7th, the Center launches IDWise, a new online resource to educate individuals, businesses and families on how to manage and secure personal information.

IDWise takes a novel approach to identity theft prevention, uniting practical advice with entertaining and relevant content to address the top concerns of those most at-risk for identity theft: children and parents, older adults, small businesses, and active service men and women. Fueled by innovative research, support from the Texas Legislature, and contributions from our partners, IDWise is The University of Texas’ first contribution to smarter citizens who are empowered to protect their information.

In the case of every crisis, we have to find tools that give us control, that educate, that build trust, and allow us to adapt. Identity theft and fraud isn’t going anywhere but with IDWise, the Center for Identity wants to give people a new place to turn.

For more information about IDWISE brought to you by the Center for Identity at the University of Texas in Austin and their identity theft protection efforts, visit https://identity.utexas.edu/.

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Suzanne Barber
Dr. Suzanne Barber is the AT&T Endowed Professor in Engineering and Director of The Center for Identity at The University of Texas. The mission of the Center is to deliver high-quality discoveries, applications, education and outreach in identity management, privacy and security.