Identity Theft, Identity Theft Protection, ID Theft
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The Idiot’s Guide on How to Watch Out for Identity Theft

By Amanda Randell
Published: Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

There is a scam running around many developed countries and is also making a trend on developing countries as well. This scam is identity theft. Identity theft can be defined as a situation that occurs when someone uses your personal information (usually without your knowledge) to commit fraud or theft. Many facts about identity theft are yet unknown to the general computer user. This problem already began even before computers. But now, as computers have given us a broader access to knowledge anywhere, so has it also become a new venue for people to steal our identity.

Internet fraud and crime is generally difficult to catch mainly because of the broadness of the Internet and the lack of laws to enforce against different forms of fraud. So what are some facts about identity theft that we need to know?

Fact One-Phishing

In the field of computer security, phishing is the criminal process of attempting to acquire some sensitive information about a number of facts of a user without his or her knowledge. With this, phishers will go anywhere to get the information they need to steal your identity. This can be done in a number of ways from tricking you into giving up your account numbers on an Internet site to simply peeking over your shoulder. Believe it or not, some phishers will even go through your garbage to find the information they need.

Fact Two-Tactics

These facts about identity theft deal with the different tactics phishers use to get the information they need from their targets. Many times it is just from the simple act of the victim to forget to sign out from an account in a computer, or even the ignorance of typing in his password or account numbers on sites he does not know very well. This is like giving phishers your privacy in a silver platter! Some phishers opt for more sneaky ways of getting numbers and information through notifications or pop ups stating that you’ve won something and that claiming your prize will require you to divulge some information including personal account numbers.

Fact Three-Prevention

These facts about identity theft deal with how to prevent or minimize the chance of identity theft. The most common and probably most overlooked is to keep all forms of personal information under wraps and in safe keeping. This includes your computer. One of the most difficult types of data to destroy in this day and age are ones stored in the computer. Just be careful with passwords for different accounts and make sure to vary between small and capital letters to make sure that anyone trying to break your password will have a hard time doing so.

Fact Four-Legal Response

Since Identity Theft is a relatively new crime many people feel that the law had their hands tied when dealing with them. These facts about Identity theft deal with what the law has been doing to battle these types of thieves.

On January 2004, the Federal Trade Commission filed its first lawsuit against a man in California who created a web page designed to look like an America On Line website and used it to steal credit card information. He was quickly caught and was sentenced in 2007 for Identity theft. This bust led to the growing anti-phishing campaign in America and also around the world where new lawsuits are being filed against alleged phishers and identity thieves from Brazil to Japan.

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