For those of you who think identity theft is not a matter to be bothered about, think again. Identity theft can be detrimental to your entire life and everything involved with your life. As much as 11.1 million adults were victims of identity theft in 2009. The total fraud amount was $54 million.
The chilling facts about identity thefts also include that identity thefts usually are committed while you least expect and from the areas you least expect. About 13% of identity fraud crimes in 2009 were committed by people who knew the victim very well. The victims had to spend sleepless hours resolving the crime.
To understand how identity thefts occur we should understand what constitutes identity theft. Identity theft is stealing your identity through accessing your personal information such as social security number, bank details etc. Identity theft is a fraud in which someone pretends to be someone else and accesses benefits by impersonating a person. The benefits may include new accounts or obtaining a new credit card etc. The person whose identity has been stolen can suffer irreparable damage for such consequences as suffer embarrassment, loss of reputation and financial loss. He or she may be held responsible and accountable for the thief's misdeeds. Apart from the material benefits that the fraudsters may stand to gain through identity theft there are other types of perpetration involved. Sensitive data transfer can be done through identity theft.
There are many reasons why identity theft has increased in our country over the last few years. Despite the fact that consumers are far more alert now to prevent identity theft and also taking action for it, this fraud has been on the rise. While you can assign the blame for this to many things the most important factors are an extended recession and increasing unemployment. The state of being unemployed often tempts a person to steal a social security number or credit card and compromise on that information. Your credentials are an easy meat for the fraudsters who access your personal information and reap benefits out of this.
No safety procedure is less important when we want to protect our identity. Physically block all personal information from public access. Have a check on people who are accessing your information. Any information that is out of use should be shredded and not just torn to pieces. Filter all mail boxes making sure no mail is touched by any impostor. Never give out information over the phone and be careful when you give information in the public. Limit access to systems and lock all the sensitive information in safe places. Be generous while placing firewalls and anti hacker softwares. Put security policies at place and make sure no sensitive information is leaked on Internet or any other public channel. One important precaution for employers is to be wary of ex employers who may leak information about the company to outsiders.