Stay Ahead Of Cyber
Identity Theft

Cyber identity theft is a crime that encases any criminal act dealing with networks (better known as hacking) and computers.

You can lose everything if you become a victim of cyber identity theft.

Also included are the common crimes committed on the internet.

  • When illegal activities are committed through the use of the internet and the computer such as credit card account thefts, identity theft, hate crimes, telemarketing, and internet fraud they are all considered cyber crimes.

The advancement of technology has contributed a great deal to this problem that we all encounter when we "visit" the internet.

Your computer is a veritable goldmine of personal information to a cyber crook. See more at identity theft software.

  • Cyber identity theft criminals are becoming so much more sophisticated; the tools of the trade are bolder.
  • Cybercrime has soared to 1 Billion dollars a year.

If you're like most internet users you make purchases, do online banking, possibly open new credit card accounts, pay mortgages, and transfer money from one account to another.

The possibilities are limitless for online identity theft and internet scams.

  • Also at risk are your account numbers, full name, address, phone numbers, and banking information.

Over the years I have also heard people say they have all their legal information online, such as a will, trust etc.

  • If you own a business, you have even more information floating around in cyber space.

This greatly increases your chance of becoming a victim of identity theft online.

There are so many types of cyber identity theft for you to be concerned about.

Learn more at credit card scams and identity theft scams to become knowledgeable about your most vulnerable areas.

  • The areas attacked can include your instant messenger, e-mail, web sites, phishing, passwords, spyware, and viruses.

The tools are readily available to carry out crimes online and are much harder to purge from your computer.

It is also extremely difficult to know what kind of information, or how your information was stolen.

  • Cyber identity theft is also made easier because the technology has also provided virtually all the equipment a cyber thief needs to go "phishing".

Wow! I can't believe how inventive some people can get. It's too bad their creativity can't be used in a legal and constructive way.

  • "Phishing" (pronounced "fishing") is a way to get your personal information online such as social security number, PIN and date of birth, etc.

The areas attacked can include your instant messenger, e-mail, web sites, phishing, passwords, spyware and viruses.

Cyber identity theft "phishing" is usually done by sending out SPAM e-mail to a large number of people.

  • The e-mails usually say a financial institution needs to verify your ATM/debit card number and PIN number because they are upgrading their software program Because of identity theft.

They provide a link for a web site for you to type in your requested information and you are told your account will be suspended if you do not provide the information.

Grammar and spelling errors are common in these e-mails and look like the person who wrote it has a lousy command of the English language.

Check out email scams to learn more about these dangerous scams.

Clicking on the link in the e-mail takes you to a web site that is not really the web site of the company mentioned in the e-mail.

  • This site is a total setup for cyber identity theft for the thief to capture your ATM/debit card and PIN number so they can clean out your money for themselves.

Before we all had computers, I remember my mom and dad telling us kids not to let people "fish" (we spelled it the proper way back then) for information.

Things sure have changed!

If someone started to ask a lot of questions, we were to say nothing and walk away.

The same applies now. We just need to say nothing, electronically speaking.

  • It is so simple and quick to order things online. Using the very latest internet browser is very important.
  • The browser provides encryption and allows you to navigate the internet.
  • Encryption scrambles data sent to a server, therefore providing protection for your personal information.
  • Using the most up to date version of a browser also makes sure you are using the latest version of Encryption technology.
  • To track your purchases easily, only use One credit card strictly for internet purchases.
  • This is also a good way to help ensure accuracy of the charges to your card and to keep a record of all internet transactions.
  • If your card is compromised, cancel it and get a new one.

Important! Because of cyber identity theft, you should make sure the web site you are accessing will be authenticated by digital certificates and that the VeriSign logo will also appear on the web site.

  • Clicking on the VeriSign logo will assure you the site is not a redirect or clone, but legitimate.
  • The merchant usually sends you an e-mail to provide you with a receipt/confirmation of your order and when it will ship.

Make sure you check your e-mail after completion of an order.

Here we go! The dreaded Privacy Policy we all love and hate reading and usually just pass through.

Reading the policy will tell you that personal information you provided will not be sold or disclosed to others, but will be kept confidential.

It's a pain to do, but please read it and make sure everything is safe.

It's more of a pain if cyber identity theft happens to you because the thief steals and uses your personal information.

First and foremost, unless you are positive whom you are dealing with never, never be free giving out your ID or password online.

Do Not give this out even if your ISP asks for it.

  • Cyber identity theft happens when thieves see this request as a scam to get your personal information.

Go to identity theft scams for tips on how to protect yourself from all types of scams.

You can help yourself even more in the fight against cyber identity theft if you use one of the following tips for ordering online:

  • E-Wallet software - This is a secure way that allows you to buy online by letting the merchant's server send a message to your PC.
  • You then select the card that is defined in your "Wallet" so you can make your purchase.
  • Set up an account using an online payment service and make purchases drawing from this account.
  • Smart Card - Just like when you use a debit card or credit card, your smart card has your purchase amount subtracted from the balance on the card.
  • Point-Of-Sale Device - (POS) - You can make your purchases using this card like a mobile phone or a personal digital assistant (PDA).
  • The amount is added to your monthly bill when you make your purchases.
  • Stored value card - You can use this like you would a prepaid phone card.

You purchase this card for a certain monetary amount and when you use the card, the amount of the purchase is subtracted from the balance of the card.

Cyber Identity Theft Puts College Students At Very High Risk!

  • The college student is definitely at a much higher risk to have cyber identity theft happen to them.
  • In the first 3 months of 2006, 52 percent (52%) of the identity theft cases were a result of losing personal property such as a purse, backpack or wallet.
  • Twenty-eight percent (28%) of identity theft was through information that a thief hacked from a web site.

We all tend to believe, "It can't happen to me". It Can and Will happen to you if you aren't diligent in defending your safety.

  • The chances of identity theft happening to you have reached epidemic proportions.

Absolutely No One Is Exempt!

Many colleges have reported identity theft cases happened because a student was lax with information/passwords on their computer or laptop.

College students are easy victims of credit card scams.
  • Other cases reported the student was too trusting of his/her roommates or friends.
  • Keep your personal information, just that, personal! No one needs to be privy to your information.
  • It has been recently reported on the news that cyber identity theft has happened to many college students because they did not heed this advice and either had their identity stolen or, at the least, were dropped from classes without their knowledge

In many cases, this proved to be catastrophe for the student.

As I said before, I am amazed cyber identity theft has become so creative.

The scams never stop. They are like the Energizer Bunny; they just keep going and going.

I wanted to add something that made the rounds in e-mail and is supposed to work. The title is "How To Protect Your Address Book" on the computer in fighting cyber identity theft.

This trick won't keep the virus from getting into your computer, but it will stop it from using your address book to spread further, and it will alert you to the fact that the worm has gotten into your system.

Here's What To Do:

  • First, open your address book and click on "new contact," just as you would do if you were adding a new friend to your list of e-mail addresses.
  • In the window where you would type your friend's first name, type in "A".
  • For the screen name or e-mail address, type AAAAAAA@AAA.AAA

Now, here's what you've done and why it works.

  • The "name" "A" will be placed at the top of your address book as entry #1.

This will be where the worm will start in an effort to send itself to all your friends.

But, when it tries to send itself to AAAAAAA@AAA.AAA, it will be undeliverable because of the phony e-mail address you entered.

  • If the first attempt fails (which it will because of the phony address), the worm goes no further and your friends will not be infected.

Here's the second great advantage of this method.

  • If an e-mail cannot be delivered, you will be notified of this in your in box almost immediately.

As a result, if you ever get an e-mail telling you that an e-mail addressed to AAAAAAA@AAA.AAA could not be delivered, you know right away that you have the worm virus in your system. You can then take steps to get rid of it.

With all the technology getting more and more sophisticated, you need to do everything you can to protect yourself and your loved ones from becoming the next identity theft victim.

I hope my cyber identity theft tips help in keeping yourself safe from this fast spreading crime.

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