As the internet technology has made shopping, banking and business transactions more convenient by taking it all online, so has it also taken fraud and thievery to a higher, more technologically-advanced level: identity theft.
What is identity theft? Identity theft is the stealing of identity through the internet. But can identity be stolen, you ask. As long as you have Social Security number, bank account number, credit account number, health card number, your identity can be stolen.
The internet is already full of reports on identity theft. How is it done?
Identity theft is done by malicious individual entities or groups who may not even necessarily have a thorough know-how on the ins and outs of computer tapping and computer hacking. An unsuspecting individual may make a bank transaction online. As he needs verification with the other party he is conducting business with, he may have to give an Social Security number, or a health security number or credit card or credit account number. Identity thieves and identity criminals operate on stealth. They can easily gain access to the information you have divulged to the bank you are transacting with. With these information, they can use your identity, make credits in your account, deposit dirty money for laundering in your bank account, make purchases, buy homes, yachts, travel, drain your funds, and basically just do everything they want using your identity and your life.
Though it is important to understand that these banks, shops, credit companies have gone to extreme measures in protecting their clients’ valuable information and protecting their clients’ identities, these identity thieves are also coming up with methods and techniques in counteracting these protective measures as fast as your banks, hospitals and credit companies make them.
Due to the rampant occurrence of identity theft nowadays, especially with the global commercial interaction through the internet, identity theft is now considered a crime. Recent reports have also shown that identity theft has gone to a higher and larger scale level with identity thieves stealing not only individual identities of common, ordinary people. Identity thieves have now also penetrated company identities.
If these identity thieves have gained access to important identities from these large, powerful, protected company, imagine what these identity thieves can actually gain from your unprotected internet-exchanged information. Protect yourself by making sure no one is looking behind your shoulders when typing valuable personal information. Erase and delete all website history and visited web pages before logging off your computer so that no one can access what information you may have just encoded. Apply for monthly credit reports and immediately inform your credit company for any suspicious credit purchases you have not transacted. Read a lot of information, updates and news reports on identity theft and educate yourself on the manner by which these identity thieves operate. And although you cannot directly stop identity theft, you can make it a lot harder for these identity thieves and reduce the chances or possibilities of your identity being stolen by counteracting any new methods they might have on stealing identities.
When it comes to the vulnerability and susceptibility of your personal identification information in the internet, you can never be too careful in preventing identity thefts. Where identity theft is concerned, prevention is definitely better than cure, as the latter may just be a little too late.
JB Anthony is the webmaster of http://www.identitytheft.hottestniches.com For more information on preventing, avoiding and counteracting identity theft in online and bank transactions and other security measures, please visit the site http://www.identitytheft.hottestniches.com