Protection Against Identity Theft Essay

1008 words - 5 pages

Protection Against Identity Theft

Identity theft is a crime that can easily ruin one’s life and cause extreme suffering and loss. Criminals have been using other people’s identity since the beginning of time to commit crimes, achieve financial gain, and for many other illegal purposes. Since the rise in the popularity of the Internet, identity theft has also been on the rise. “Approximately 15 million United States residents have their identities used fraudulently each year with financial losses totaling upwards of $50 billion.” (Douglas, 2012) By securing someone else’s personally identifiable information (PII), a criminal with enough knowledge about the Internet could illegally gain ...view middle of the document...

Maintaining awareness of financial information on a regular basis is another easy way to protect against identity theft. (Identity Theft And Identity Fraud, 2014) By staying on top of all transactions, investments, and all financial activity, an individual will be aware if something out of the ordinary is happening. Reviewing bank account and credit card statements is one of the simplest and quickest way to identify if something is not right. There are many times these statements are thrown out after only a quick glance which could have potentially saved that individual from being a victim of identity theft. If a criminal has obtained an individual’s bank account information and is only taking out very small amounts over a long period of time it will be extremely difficult to catch this action if the statements are not reviewed regularly. If erroneous activity is recognized soon enough it will be easier for financial institutions to rectify and will be less impactful on the victim.
Individuals should also review their credit report on a regular basis. There is a possibility that a criminal who has accessed an individual’s PII has opened numerous accounts using that victim’s information. Reviewing a credit report very well might be the only way to discover these criminal actions. Often times in these situations individuals are unaware of numerous accounts being opened in their name and by the time they find out the damage far exceeds what it would have been with a little diligence on their part.
With so many individuals and businesses being vulnerable to attacks from identity thieves there has been a massive increase in the products and services offered by identity protection companies. Companies such as LifeLock offer services to safeguard your information, finances, credit, and other valuable information from criminals seeking to commit identity theft. (Protecting Your Identity, 2014) These services provide individuals with identity protection but most of all with a peace of mind their information is protected. Even with all the advances in technology and awareness of the need to protect one’s identity, the criminals committing these offenses have many techniques and schemes to acquire information. Criminals use phishing,...

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