Identity theft has always been a concern, but with more and more details of our private lives openly accessible on the Internet, it is at unprecedented levels and it is easier than ever for cybercriminals to steal somebody's identity.
There have been many reports of identity theft against individuals or companies. The abuse of identity details, such as dates of birth, postcodes and internet logins, now accounts for two thirds of all frauds. But because there are no specific agencies that could do tracking, victims often end up pursuing the long process of resetting their passwords in their PCs, bank accounts, and other areas where they have stored personal data, often daunting tasks. As such, data on how many victims there are or how much has been lost to identity theft remains elusive.
The public should be more vigilant in protecting personal details to prevent identity theft, a developer of secure content and threat management solution has said, citing an annual study performed by California-based Javelin Strategy and Research. The study showed that in the US alone, around 12.6 million people fell victim to identity theft in 2012, losing at least $21 billion. Identity theft is an act wherein a person or a group of persons wrongfully obtain and utilize personal and often crucial information from other people, often for financial gains.
It's important to be careful what we share too. Some online services require us to provide personal details to reset passwords. Criminals can use this password reset method to convince the website that it's actually you and get into your account.
Identity Theft on the Internet
The internet is a hotbed for identity information. Whether someone lurking over a user’s shoulder at a coffee shop, or a hacker cracking passwords, information entered on the internet can be targeted.
Your passwords are the most common way to prove your identity when using websites, email accounts and your computer itself (via User Accounts). The use of strong passwords is therefore essential in order to protect your security and identity. The best security in the world is useless if a malicious person has a legitimate user name and password.
Passwords are commonly used in conjunction with your username. However, on secure sites they may also be used alongside other methods of identification such as a separate PIN and/or memorable information. In some cases you will also be asked to enter only certain characters of your password, for additional security.
Groups will send out spam emails that lure inexperienced users into promising deals asking for information and not follow up. Internet identity thieves are hard to identify because of the anonymity they are allowed. Legal Yogi can give tips to prevent identity theft on the internet, taking action, and recovery.
Information Sought by Thieves
Any number providing service access is at risk. Such numbers, experts report, include social security numbers, phone or utility account numbers, bank and credit account numbers, student ID numbers, driver’s license and passport numbers, professional license numbers, and insurance numbers.
The Risk of Using Weak Passwords
• People impersonating you to commit fraud and other crimes, including
• Accessing your bank account
• Purchasing items online with your money
• Impersonating you on social networking and dating sites
• Sending emails in your name
• Accessing the private information held on your computer