Defend Your Identity: Defining Identity Theft

Many things can be owned. These things may have been purchased, given as gifts or passed along from one generation of family to another.

Those things may have a monetary value, they may have a sentimental value. They may be things like pictures or heirlooms that would be worth little to anyone other than the people who know their history.

Of course, the problem with owning something is that it could be stolen. Or it could even be lost due to something like fire, flood, or some other natural cause. And naturally, there are plenty of thieves out there who would steal your possessions if given the chance.

One of the most personal things that can be stolen from you is your identity. Identity theft is becoming more and more of a problem, and the first step in preventing it is to understand what it is.

Definition Of Identity Theft

In order to be aware of identity theft, provide protection and prosecute those who steal another’s identity, it is important to define identity theft. Identity theft is that action or actions taken by another for the purpose of misrepresenting themselves as that individual in order to commit fraudulent acts. Those fraudulent acts can include the illegal accessing of that person’s financial accounts or committing acts of crime. Those acts of crime could include creating new credit cards accounts, obtaining a loan, etc.

One of the most common impacts of identity theft is financial loss of some sort. Identity theft can affect your finances and credit rating when the thieves are able to access your bank accounts, credit cards and other private information.

Plus, if it isn’t stopped quickly, this damage can have a serious impact on your good name. Credit reports, employment history, criminal records, etc. are all potential problems. Even though you are innocent, the problems are on your record. It can take years to clear your name.

How Identity Theft Works

Identity theft often occurs when critical, personal pieces of information are somehow obtained by an identity thief.

This can include identification numbers,such as your social insurance number and driver’s license number – things that only their owner should know. Other potentially dangerous pieces of information are your passwords, account PINs, date of birth or even your mother’s maiden name. All of this can easily be prevented if you set up a safe network with Cyber Security software. Not only will it protect valuable information but it will also detect and identify threats in real time. Having a piece of mind knowing that your information is protected will help you sleep better at night.

If these numbers are obtained by an identity thief, they can use them to pose as you to banks, credit companies or other services. This personal information should never be given out glibly.

Often a company is very clear that they will never ask for these sensitive numbers unless the customer has initiated the call. In addition, often a company will only ask for the last four numbers of a person’s 9 digit social security number.

Your trash is another source of this information for identity thieves. Don’t ever throw out papers with personal information on it – make sure you shred it thoroughly first.

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Category: Computer Security

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