Everybody hears about identity theft, but many people do not believe that it will happen to them. Unfortunately, it can, and the results can be devastating and life-altering. What is it exactly, and what can be done to prevent yourself from being a victim?
Identity theft happens when someone steals your personal information, generally your social security number, and uses it to benefit themselves. They may open up credit cards, get bank loans, or even commit crimes, all using your own name. Many people do not even realize that their identify has been stolen until something funny appears on their credit report, or they start getting strange bills in the mail.
Being online is one of the biggest ways that identity theft occurs. As we continuously shop on the Internet, pay our bills online and basically have all our personal information out there, identity thieves can easily grab what they want. Viruses and spy ware may infiltrate your computer and steal your personal information, sending it on to a malicious recipient. It is extremely important that when you own a computer, you always have an effective anti-virus program running. Many new computers come with free trials, or they can be purchased and downloaded easily on the Internet. This is one type of identity theft protection that really works, especially when you use the Internet to conduct personal business.
You can also use a firewall to protect yourself against IT. This is a program that usually comes with a virus protection program that essentially stops hackers from getting into your system and getting important information from your computer. Firewalls may be either internal software programs that run through your computer, or external devices that can be attached to your PC. Having a firewall is a form of identity protection, as it blocks potential identity thieves and hackers from gaining access to your private and personal information.
Identity theft is a crime, and those who fall victim to it can have their lives ruined by it. Identity theft protection systems really do work, and are recommended by anyone who uses a computer to transmit information online.