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**Consumer Alert** CFO Jimmy Patronis: Pentagon Warns Servicemembers of At-Home DNA Tests Security Risks

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — With a recent warning from the Pentagon regarding at-home DNA tests creating security risks for military personnel, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis cautions Floridians to better understand the risks associated with DNA tests and offers tips on how to protect themselves from scams.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “With 20 military bases in our state, it’s significant that the Pentagon recently issued a memo warning about the risks associated with taking at-home DNA tests for members of our military. In the age of digital hacks, you must do everything you can to protect your information from falling into the wrong hands. As DNA testing becomes more popular, we must ensure consumers—and our military servicemembers—are protected.
“Many Floridians may have received popular at-home DNA testing kits from companies like 23andMe, Ancestry, and MyHeritage as gifts this holiday season, but it’s vital that consumers understand the privacy risks of genetic testing products. Regardless of whether you are testing to find out your ancestry origins or nationality, it’s always important to remember that your DNA contains personal health-related details.”
3 DNA Testing Kit Tips
1. Beware of “free” DNA tests. Be suspicious of anyone who offers you "free" genetic testing and then requests your Medicare number or other personal information. This could be a sign of a recent Medicare scam. Never give anyone who calls or approaches you out of the blue information like your Medicare, bank account, credit card or Social Security number.
2. Read the fine print. Before uploading your genetic data, always read the privacy policies companies have listed to ensure you know exactly what your genetic information can be used for including the ability for companies to sell your data to third parties. You may be able to opt-out of such practices.
3. Delete your DNA data. Genetic data can reveal information about your health, your risk for certain diseases, and your family relationships. If you've already taken a test, learn how to delete your data to protect your personal information from falling into the wrong hands.
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