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Staples to Help Ease Consumers' Vulnerability to Identity Theft This Tax Season; Personal Security Expert Provides Tips for Consumers to Get Organized and Maintain Personal Security

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 1, 2006--According to a report by the Better Business Bureau and Javelin Research, 9.3 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2005.(1) With the deadline for filing taxes a little more than a month away, Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), the world's largest office products company, and personal security expert Robert Siciliano have teamed up to help consumers ensure personal security during tax season and throughout 2006.

"It is vital that consumers take the initiative to protect their identity," said Siciliano. "Something as simple as shredding your unneeded personal documents, instead of throwing them in the garbage, can truly make a difference in protecting yourself from identity theft."

Identity theft is becoming an increasing threat to consumers and businesses. Owning the right tools will minimize risks of becoming a victim. This is especially important during tax filing season when many documents can be exposed.

In addition, businesses of all sizes are targets of identity theft. Large or small, businesses are the keepers of important client and employee information that hackers and thieves target. Like consumers, businesses need to take the proper steps to ensure personal security.

"Maintaining personal security is important for everyone, especially during tax season," said Shira Goodman, executive vice president of marketing for Staples. "Staples has shredders, safes and antivirus software to give our customers peace of mind."

Staples teamed up with Robert Siciliano, known as the "Lifesaver" for his personal security expertise. With 18 years of security training and experience in white collar crimes, Siciliano is an expert on a variety of security issues from identity theft to workplace violence and is frequently featured on national television.

Staples and Siciliano developed the following six easy tips to help consumers get organized and ensure the safety of their personal information:

  • Shred Shred Shred: Paper statements and junk mail thrown out in the trash are as good as gold to a savvy identity thief. Shred CDs and everything with a name, address or account number. Staples Eight-Sheet Cross Cut Shredder ($69.99) can shred credit cards, CDs and staples and is a great addition to any home or office.

  • Invest in Security Software: Antivirus software, anti-spam ware, anti-spyware programs and firewalls, reduce the possibilities of identity thieves, phishers (those who falsely claim to be an enterprise in need of your personal info via email) and keyloggers (programs that copy the keystrokes of a machine's user) compromising your PC. Consumers can keep their connection protected with the Norton Internet Security 2006 for New PCs/Router ($69.99). This all inclusive solution keeps personal data in and hackers out while safeguarding other common online risks.

  • Secure Cordless Communication: Upgrade to a 5.0 gigahertz cordless phone, such as the Panasonic 2-Line 5.8GHz ($79.99), which has wireless encryption to block eavesdroppers.

  • Lock up Your Data: Install locking files cabinets and locking safes such as the Sentry(R) Security Safe ($106.99) in your home office. While burglars used to steal electronics, they now look for personal data in hopes of granting access to your social security number.

  • Password Protection: Change your passwords frequently and purchase password management software, such as the SanDisk 512MB Cruzer Profile USB flash drive ($69.98) to organize the multitude of passwords you need everyday.

  • Keep it Safe: Store your thumbdrives, floppies or cds in a secure safe. The Sentry(R) Security Safe V120 ($89.99) includes hardware to bolt the safe to the floor or wall so it can't be taken from your home or office.

From paper shredders, organizing supplies, locking file cabinets and safes to surge protectors and internet security protect software, Staples has all of the products that consumers need to get organized and maintain personal security.

For more information on Staples products and to obtain a complete list of tips and products to deter identity theft, visit www.staples.com/security.

About Staples

Staples, Inc. invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today is the world's largest office products company. With 69,000 talented associates, the company is committed to making it easy to buy a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2005 sales of $16.1 billion, Staples serves consumers and businesses ranging from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in 21 countries throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples operates approximately 1,780 office superstores and also serves its customers through mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at www.staples.com.

(1) Source: "2005 Identity Fraud Survey Report," Javelin Strategy and Research, 2005.

CONTACT: Alan Taylor Communications
Meredith Topalanchik, 973-220-8577
Meredith@alantaylor.com
or
Matt McQueen, 212-714-1280
MattM@alantaylor.com

SOURCE: Staples, Inc.