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Different ways of identity theft

By Janet Lacey
Published: Friday, November 20th, 2009

Technology has advanced to make man’s life simple, but there has been an equal number of raise in fraudulent practices with the use of technology. Criminals have made our nights sleepless. Any of us are susceptible to the threat of identity theft. It is not until it is too late that we realize regarding the identity theft. By this time, we would have had a considerable loss and many a times, we do not stand a chance to recover from the loss either.

Gone are the days when thieves were not easily identifiable because of their dressing habits or their educational background. As technology advanced, the thieves have gone high tech. They are extremely well read and have pursued higher studies passing with flying colors. Unfortunately, this scholarly class gets influenced negatively due to their circumstances and the common man gets to face the brunt of it. Passports, social security card are all too obvious means for them. They opt to use more complicated means of gaining information on your identity. You would be left with no trace or suspicion, thanks to their expertise.

Nothing personal is really personal anymore. The dream of making technology user friendly and making it affordable to one and all has its own drawbacks too. The reasonable rates have, in a way, encouraged the thieves to exploit it to their advantage. A simple procedure of checking the mails in your inbox too give away your personal information. There have been innumerable cases where people have been harassed when their passwords have been compromised. In yet other cases, online hackers have been intellectually sound and have guessed the passwords right to hack into your mailbox.

Banks and online trading tools are now insisting that the customers have complicated passwords. Having a short password or making it too obvious is a sure formula for a theft of information. Hence, of late, customers are urged to use passwords that contain alphabets, numbers and some special symbols too. The more complicated it is, the better. Also, some people have the habit of using the same password for many websites. This is a great security threat. If the password is compromised in one instance, it will have a cascading effect. Before long, you will find almost all your information compromised.

Hackers use another technique to gain access to your identity information. This is usually in the form of viruses and Trojans installed on the systems. The Trojans fish out our identity information from the system we use. The extent of damage could leave us in a state of shock for long.

We have to be intelligent from our end. Though the hackers are too intelligent, we have to ensure we do our bit to secure our identity information. While we should be extra cautious while using public systems, we should make sure we leave no private information saved even temporarily on such systems. We have to safeguard vital sources of personal information like our ID cards or passports.

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