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Identity Theft – Basics for Beginners

By Janet Lacey
Published: Saturday, November 21st, 2009

Identity comprises vital information on an individual. When this is compromised, the person could be in serious crisis depending on the extent of damage or loss he incurs. Many people are falling prey to this malpractice that is plaguing our society. There are a few who have tasted the pleasure of making easy money. Hence, what started out as an act of curiosity form their end may have now become a means of earning their daily bread.

People all around the world are being encouraged to use many facilities online. The online banking, online purchases, booking tickets online; these are all the reasons people use the internet. But this luxury of getting things done without requiring you to travel across the globe or even across your country comes with a threat involved. When making any online transaction, it becomes necessary for us to give away some information like name and credit card number etc. Many times, such information is transferred securely with the use of passwords and required level of encryption.

Password seems to be the only shield a common man has against the threats whereas encryption could be used at higher levels which involves transfer of secure information. A layman usually underestimates the power of password. He does not realize how a single word he chooses could be the key to safeguard has identity information. Hence many times, he opts for passwords which are weak in strength. This means that they can be guessed very easily.

Another major source of your identity information is various documents that you possess. Very often documents carry information regarding your name, address, phone number and many others. One has to secure it with care so that information in the document does not fall in the wrong hands. Misplacing the documents is one of the most common complaints that people make. We should be wise in deciding which document to carry with us at all points of time. Keeping the bare minimum with us is a good practice as far as safeguarding the documents are concerned.

It is a good practice to have an antivirus installed on your system. This software will keep a check on any security attacks like viruses or Trojans that constitute a major threat to your identity information. Hackers have a knack of leaving the viruses running on your system Also, adware and spywares could add to the threat on your systems.

You don’t necessarily have to understand any jargons nor be technically sound to safe guard your identity information. All it takes is a constant reminder that you could be the next victim and hence you should do your best to keep that situation at bay. There are many sources of information that will feed you with basic information to do so. Being meticulous and organized could also go a long way in keeping your documents in safe hands. Keep a check on who uses your system at home. Make sure that all identity documents are kept in lockers that cannot easily be accessed.

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