• 61°

VA-issued ID card poses risk to security

Any veteran or active military should not have to worry that their VA issued ID card would be a security threat but recently it has been proved to be just that. Anyone with a smart phone and a free downloaded bar code scanner can read the social security number on the back of the card. ID cards issued since 2004 through now are at risk.
The VA has issued a warning but I feel that the alert has not been aggressive enough to all veterans. The VA is now working on a new type of card, one that does not show the Social Security number but it will not be available until the end of 2014.
Rather than replace the current cards now, the VA has chosen at this time not to be in any hurry to protect the security of those who have served. Just today I downloaded an app from the Google Play store, installed it and scanned my VA card. There was my Social Security number, accessible to anyone who followed my steps to do so.
So what are the chances of this happening to you? Well the same percentage that you may lose your wallet or show you ID and then forget to pick up the card. Many different scenarios could produce disastrous results and ruin your credit.
Thieves can use your Social Security number to ruin your life with identity theft that may take you years to recover a high credit score, so you need to protect your Social Security number like you do your credit or debit card. Never use your debit card to make online purchases or a thief can wipe out your checking account and only use a no liability credit card. Many banks are now offering them.
So what can you do if you think your Social Security number or credit card has been compromised? You can place a “fraud alert” by contacting one of the three credit report companies. Each company is then obligated to notify the other two. The Initial Fraud Alert stays on your credit card for 90 days free of charge and flags a creditor to contact you directly prior to issuing you any credit.
Unless you have a VA appointment, one easy solution is to simply leave the card at home. If you carry a VA ID card, please watch the news video from a Florida TV station and share with other veterans. (You can find the video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ycbVaOk6To&feature=youtu.be). You also can Google “VA ID Card Reader” and read the info there. One thing is for certain, as technology advances, our security will always be at risk. Be careful!
Rodney Cress lives in Salisbury and is a longtime advocate on veterans issues.

“My Turn” submissions should be between 500 and 700 words. Send to cverner@salisburypost.com with “My Turn” in the subject line. Include name, address, phone number and a digital photo of yourself if possible.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

‘Meet the need’: Rowan County Health Department looks to add to vaccination options

Local

Seaford is first woman in county hired for town manager position since the ’90s

Local

Colonial Spring Frolic makes a comeback to kick off museum’s year

Local

Concord City Council wants to name bridge for fallen officer, Rowan native

Education

RSS administration will recommend selling Faith Elementary property to charter school

Business

Inspired by advice from father-in-law, Angela Mills launches her own business in memory of him

Local

Rowan County Democrats re-elect leaders, pass resolutions

Local

Baseball: Memories come alive in Ferebee book

Local

During Child Abuse Prevention Month, local groups reflect on detecting abuse in a virtual world

Business

Biz Roundup: Small Business Center announces spring slate of workshop for business owners

Clubs

Kiwanis Pancake Festival starts Friday

Local

Rowan fire marshal seeks to clear up confusion, worry caused by solicitation letter

Education

Fun every day: Fifth anniversary for Yadkin Path Montessori School

Nation/World

Charles: Royal family ‘deeply grateful’ for support for Philip

News

North Carolina sites to resume J&J vaccines after CDC review

News

Cooper OKs bill offering K-12 students summer school option

High School

High school football: Playoff time means get ready for ‘big-boy football’

High School

High school football: Hornets overpower South to secure playoff spot

Crime

Jeffrey MacDonald won’t be released despite deteriorating health

Business

Amazon warehouse workers reject union in Alabama

Nation/World

Ex-NFL player’s brain to be probed for trauma-related harm after Rock Hill shootings

Education

Duke University to require COVID vaccinations for fall term

Education

Cooper OKs bill offering K-12 students summer school option

High School

High school football: Record night for Pinckney as East cruises; Carson wins thriller in OT