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How to Prevent Identity Theft

Discussion in 'Tech, Gadgets & Science Forum' started by MziziMkavu, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. MziziMkavu

    MziziMkavu JF-Expert Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Joined: Feb 3, 2009
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    The article is a compilation of some simple tips on how to prevent identity theft, in order to ensure that you don't become a victim of identity fraud. When it comes to identity thefts and identity frauds, prevention is indeed better than being sorry.
    The term identity theft is used to refer to a fraud, wherein an individual pretends to be someone else, in order to gain some or the other benefits he is not rightfully entitled to. In most of the cases, crimes pertaining to identity theft are related to financial issues. However, there are some cases, wherein the perpetrator intends to spoil the image of the victim or put him/her in a trouble. Being aware of simple tips on how to prevent identity theft can be of great help as identity theft has become an issue of grave concern in the today's society.

    Prevent Identity Theft
    The act of Identity theft can be broadly categorized into several types based on the motive of the perpetrator. Business identity theft refers to a scenario wherein the perpetrator pretends to be someone else, in order to get credit from the market, while criminal identity theft, refers to a scenario wherein the criminal pretends to be someone else when he is caught. The problem, in both the cases is that the victim has to bear the brunt of the perpetrators misdeeds. In most of the cases, by the time the victim realizes that someone has stolen his identity to commit some crime or fraud, it is too late. The victim is bound to have a tough time convincing the authorities that he is not responsible for the alleged malpractices. Identity fraud, i.e. the fraud committed by the perpetrator by posing to be someone else is a web of deceit, which is very difficult to come out of. The easier part is to ensure some simple steps, so that no one lays their hands upon your identity, and you don't have to undergo all this trauma that follows. Read more on preventing identity theft.

    How to Prevent Identity Theft Online?
    As the number of people using the Internet for financial transactions is increasing, identity frauds associated with the world wide web are increasing as well. Here are some simple tips you should follow to prevent identity thefts online.
    • Never give out your personal information, such as the date of birth or social security number, online.
    • When making financial transactions, always make sure that the website is trustworthy.
    • Never click on suspicious links or e-mails promising a hefty prize money.
    • Use good anti-virus programs which have the ability of tackling Trojans which can steal information from your PC.
    • Use passwords which are combination of numbers and alphabets, and never keep your date of birth or your middle name as your password. More importantly, make sure that you change your passwords quite often.
    These simple tips on how to prevent Internet identity theft can ensure that you are safe on the Internet. Read more on tips to avoid identity theft.

    How to Prevent Identity Theft in a Business?
    Though, the number of cases pertaining to identity fraud in business is less, when compared to those on the Internet, the loss incurred in business related identity fraud is much more. Some simple measures and you can ensure that your business is safe from the clutches of opportunistic fraudsters.
    • Make sure that the computer systems you use to run your business are well secured with necessary software. Hackers are on lookout for unsecured machines from which they can steal the valuable data.
    • Make sure that your personal information is not accessible to anyone around you. Writing down your ATM pin number or net banking password in a place or document just because you don't remember it, can cost you dearly.
    • Prepare a security policy for your business and enforce it with immediate effect. Make sure that only the concerned employees have access to the various parts of the office.
    • Cut off the access of employees immediately, who leave the job. Make sure that they return all the official access cards and disable their official mail accounts, when they quit.
    • If your business demands interaction between employees and clients, make sure that you intimate all your clients that the said employee is no more associated with your company
    Other then these simple measures, make sure that the people with whom you share crucial information are trustworthy. And don't forget to monitor your credit reports and other financial documents regularly.

    How to Report Identity Theft?
    Even after taking all these measures to prevent identity thefts, if you feel that any of your vital information is compromised, you should immediately report the same to the concerned authorities. The foremost thing you require to do is to lodge a police complaint, and obtain a copy of the same. On the basis of this complaint, you can take further actions like blocking your account to ensure that no further transactions are made. Don't forget to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission or Social Security Administration's Fraud Hotline. These organizations monitor such frauds, in order to determine if any identity theft rings are involved.

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