PRYING EYES: Protect Your Privacy from People Who Sell to You, Snoop on You, and Steal from You
Rebecca Kai Dotlich, . . Random House Reference, $16.95 (400pp) ISBN 978-0-375-72093-2
Recently, the media and book authors have focused on the dangers to our privacy posed by the growing electronic network connecting all aspects of our lives, from medical records to online shopping. But Gertler offers more—practical ways to protect your privacy from invasion and your identity from theft (no small problem: according to Gertler, 10 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2003). In this amiable and readable handbook, Gertler, an expert on privacy and identity theft and former CEO of Privista, advises on how to prevent your Social Security number from being sold on the Internet; reduce access to your credit report; and check the security on a Web site when you make a purchase, among many other tips. And if you thought your workplace was safe, Gertler details how increasingly intrusive employers are becoming—and employers, an ACLU staffer points out, are "beyond the reach of the Constitution." Gertler offers lots of scary anecdotes illustrating how easily others can gain access to your personal information and abuse it, and little sidebars highlight important points. Some may find Gertler's approach too comprehensive—they may not need the constitutional history of the right to privacy. But for patient readers who want a grasp of the issues as well as practical tips, Gertler's guide to identity security is indispensable.
Reviewed on: 06/28/2004