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Identity Theft Essay

968 words - 4 pages

Identity Theft Identity theft happens when someone steals and uses another person’s identity to obtain resources in that persons name. This is an issue that has been going on for years. The difference today is technology. Technology has made it easier for identities of people to get stolen. Reasons behind this varies, some do it for political, financial, or social gain.There are different types of identity theft such as financial fraud, criminal activities, and computer and cyber crimes. You cannot protect yourself fully from identity theft, but there are ways to reduce your risk. According to Peter Katel, Nearly 10 million consumers are affected annually by lost or stolen data at a cost to the economy of $53 billion. Moreover, victims spend almost 300 million hours a year trying to clear their names and re-establish good credit ratings. Today’s advancement in technology makes identity theft even easier to accomplish. These days, a lot of identity verification happens with computers. Computers are fast at computation but not very good at judgment, and can be tricked. A lot of authentication happens online, with only a small amount of information: user ID, password, birth date, Social Security number, and so on. Anyone who gets that information can impersonate you to a computer, which doesn't know any better. It has become convenient for these people to do so, they can collect data from their own mobile smart phone, tablets, laptops and so on. Free wifi is available in a lot of public places. They are provided by cafes, restaurants, etc and serve as excellent places for harvesting passwords. Unprotected wifi networks, especially in public places, are most certainly a threat. This is because you are connecting to a network without knowing who else could be on the network. According to security.stackexchange.com,the predator will perform something called a “man in the middle attack”, he does this by employing ARP cache poisoning. When he gets this far, the attacker can read all plaintext passwords, including unsecured email, unencrypted ftp, websites without SSL, etc. They can also see all your google searches, all domains that you visit wether it is encrypted or not, and so forth. Social websites make it easy for someone to steal your identity and impersonate you. All it takes is for someone to create a profile with your name and picture and they can pretend to be you. Social website sites like Facebook and Myspace are examples of some of these social websites. You have to be smart and be aware of all the possible types of identity theft. One type of identity theft is financial fraud. This happens when a person steals your credit card information or bank information. The next thing you have to be aware of is criminal activities. This type of identity includes fraud involves taking on someone else's identity in order to commit a...

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