Some Precautions: Identity
Thieves Combine Offline and Online Options
|How to prevent
personal data stealing?|
Two out of five identity
theft victims surveyed by the Identity Theft Assistance
Center (ITAC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting
identity theft through victim assistance, research and law
enforcement partnerships) know how their personal data was
stolen. This knowledge provides valuable insight about how
identity theft occurs.
About the Author:
When ITAC surveyed 275 identity theft victims who used the
ITAC's free service over a one-month period, 160 consumers
(58%) did not know the source of their identity theft.
Another 115 consumers (42%) did know how their information
was compromised. These 115 consumers attributed their
identity theft to the following sources:
* Friends, relatives, in-home employees - 26 cases, or
* Computer hacker/virus/phishing - 25 cases, or 21.74%
* Mail (stolen or fraudulent address change) - 24 cases, or
* Lost/stolen wallet, checkbook or credit card - 15 cases,
* Corrupt business or employee - 12 cases, or 10.43%
* Data breach - 8 cases, or 6.96%
* House burglarized - 4 cases, or 3.48%
* Instant credit - 1 case, or 0.87%
Getting accurate information about the sources of identity
theft is difficult because identity theft - the opening of a
fraudulent new account or account takeover - is often
confused with other types of fraud, like the unauthorized
use of a credit card.
Nevertheless, it is up to each of us to be on guard against
the possibility that our documents, or worst yet, our
computers, could be compromised. Sometimes it may seem like
a losing battle, but they are some steps we can take to
prevent becoming the next victim.
Here are some precautions:
* Do not keep your Social Security card in your wallet.
* If your Social Security number is on your driver's
license, remove it. In some states it is now illegal for
a driver's license to be issued with a Social Security
* When shredding important papers, make sure you use a
cross-cut. "If it is shredded in strips and not
cross-cut, I can put it down right in front of me and put it
back together and there you have it," says "John", who uses
his skills as a computer defense specialist to protect you,
and is skilled in the ways of hackers and thieves and can
ruin your credit and your life.
* "Don't use wireless for anything that you would not
want put in a public newspaper. Though it's a nice
convenience, your information is basically floating in
mid-air. I could be two blocks away with a high-powered
antenna picking up his information."
* The key is defense in depth or layers: Anti-virus,
computer patches, and firewalls, and most importantly,
updating them once a week. There are types of protection
for wireless but they can be hacked in as little as twenty
Because cybercriminals are becoming smarter and more
sophisticated in their operations, they are real threats to
your personal security and privacy. Your money, your
computer, your family, and your business are all at risk.
To protect yourself, you need an Internet security team of
experts making sure that you, your family, and your business
computer are always safe and secure. The best protection you
can have in today's rapidly changing world of cyber-attacks
is to have expert support for all your Internet security
needs that will provide technical support without any
hassles and without charging you extra fees. It will become
even more critical than it is today as time goes on. You
need to find your own personal team of experts to rely on.
If you ever have a security problem, you will want to have a
trusted expert you can call for professional help, without
any hassles and extra costs!
These cybercriminals leave you with three choices :
1. Do nothing and hope their attacks, risks, and threats
don't occur on your computer.
2. Do research and get training to protect yourself, your
family, and your business.
3. Get professional help to lockdown your system from all
their attacks, risks, and threats.
Remember: When you say "No!" to hackers and spyware,
everyone wins! When you don't, we all lose!
� MMVII, Etienne A. Gibbs, MSW, Internet Safety Advocate and
Etienne A. Gibbs, Independent Internet Security Advocate and
Educator, consults with individuals, small business owners,
and home-business entrepreneurs regarding online protection
(including free lifetime technical support and $25,000 identity
theft insurance and recovery) against spyware, viruses, malware,
hackers, and other pc-disabling cybercrimes. For more
information, visit www.SayNotoHackersandSpyware.com/.