Personal Info on Public Documents?

By: Sarah Platt Email
By: Sarah Platt Email

Identity theft continues to be one the fastest growing white-collar crimes. And even though you may already take steps to protect your personal information, some of your information could be floating around in cyberspace or even a government office, for the public to view.

Unfortunately, if someone gets ahold of a social security number, they can steal someone's identity and do a lot of damage. And in some rare cases, government agencies are posting social security numbers that might be included on other documents.

Every document that is recorded within our County Recorder’s Offices is open to the public and some of that information still contains personal information, like social security numbers.

Christopher Anderson, the Elkhart County Recorder, says his office is taking proactive steps in protecting identifying information, without hindering the public's right to get information.
Anderson says they try to black box personal information if it hasn't been already. He says they also keep close tabs on whose looking at the information.

“I can't restrict access to my records in any way, shape, or form by law, but I can be careful who is looking at the records and how much they're looking at,” says Anderson.

The Elkhart County Recorder says he's hoping that other government agencies are taking similar precautions. Experts advise that it's a good idea to check out your credit report each year.

You might also consider personally checking in with your local or state government, to see what type of information it’s offices might be potentially posting on you.

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