Identity theft is defined as the theft of another person’s personal information, usually for purposes of obtaining a benefit, obtaining credit, or to the disadvantage of the victim or loss to the victim. This type of crime is very difficult to trace since the personal information of many people are not stored on file systems, including social security numbers, driver’s license number, bank account numbers, and credit card numbers, and all of these personal information are often available online.
The first step that is taken in identifying and preventing identity theft is identification of the victim. Identity theft can take place through the Internet. When looking at a credit card statement online, an individual will see that they are the account holder. They will then see a series of numbers that have been printed on the back of their credit card, the so-called magnetic stripe.
Identity thieves steal these numbers to obtain any kind of information about the victim, including their name, address, birth date, gender, social security number, and phone number. Once this information is obtained, it can be used to open new credit accounts, or open new lines of credit with their existing credit cards. They can then take out loans and make purchases with them by using the credit cards they have obtained.
Prevention of identity theft is easy. It is important to change the passwords of all of your online accounts. To do this, all one has to do is type in their password and select a different password. This is a quick and simple solution to protect all of their information.
Credit card monitoring is another way to keep track of a credit account. The monitor will be able to watch for any activity on the account and report this to the credit card company. One will also be notified of any new credit transactions made on the credit card and any charges made for items purchased without the user’s permission.
Finally, identity theft can occur online via the Internet. Many people today use social networks such as MySpace, Friendster, Orkut, Friendster, Yahoo! 360, Facebook, and Twitter. One can monitor the activities of friends who may be stealing personal information for their own gain.
Identity thieves have developed sophisticated software that can infiltrate the computer programs of the users to gain access to their information. When they are able to gain access to this information, the hackers will then be able to use it to open new credit cards and apply for credit card accounts using the personal information that has been gained from the computer. It is very important to monitor the activities of any friends or family members who are using social networks to keep track of what they do online.
Preventing identity theft is important to all consumers. One should always ensure that their Social Security number and other information is kept confidential, and that they do not give out this information to other people or businesses that are not authorized to see it.