Identity

Identity Theft Statistics To Know And Learn From

If you have been dismissing the occasional identity theft statistics that you might hear on the news, don’t be so quick to ignore them. The sad fact is that people are victimized by identity theft every single day. However, the good news is that you can acquaint yourself with some of those identity theft statistics in an effort to protect yourself.

The first of the important identity theft statistics to know is that, in the US, there are three states that seem to be more prone to identity theft victims than any of the other forty-seven US states.

The most troublesome identity theft state seems to be Florida. This is a state that is home to many elderly citizens who tend to make good targets for identity thieves.

After Florida, the two next states that the identity theft statistics indicate are at the highest risks are Arizona and Texas. So, if you happen to be a resident of those three states, you should be especially on your guard.

Identity theft statistics are important to know, but you shouldn’t take them too literally. For example, if you aren’t a member of the above three states, don’t think that you’re safe. Your personal information is still very much at risk.

For example, credit card fraud is the most common form of identity theft, according to statistics from 2009. However, credit card theft only makes up about 17% of all identity thefts, as of the time of that poll.

What that means is that you are vulnerable to identity theft in many other ways. Employment fraud made up 13% of the complaints, for example. Meanwhile, utilities and phone fraud accounted for 15%. Still, though, that’s only 45% total.

According to identity theft statistics, the other 55% consisted of 16% government document fraud, 10% bank fraud and 4% loan fraud, among other types of identity theft. That’s why it’s so important to protect your personal information from thieves, no matter what you are doing.

Now that you know some important identity theft statistics, you can be on your guard. Shred personal documents and be careful of how you give out your personal information.

Want to learn more important identity theft statistics? Visit
www.theidtheftreport.com for free ID theft help, articles, and resources.

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Government Officials Contributing to Identity Theft

Government officials are posting our SS numbers on the web, but corporations are required to keep them under lock and key.

Congressman Robert Wexler was recently targeted by a Ghanaian extortionist who supposedly obtained Wexler’s SS number, as well as his wife’s, from a public record posted at The Virginia Watchdog. Betty Ostergren, founder of The Virginia Watchdog, has spent the past seven years trying to put an end to the public exposure of our Social Security numbers, which are often posted online by elected or appointed state government officials. Virginia and other states apparently want this personal information online, since they have yet to pass any laws mandating the removal of SS numbers.

State officials posts these records online because they are public records. This is already happening in every state. Records containing extensive personal information are available on the Internet, and the elected officials that post this information put individuals at risk by failing to remove or black out Social Security numbers and other sensitive data.

The fact that Congressman Wexler and his wife were extorted should not be the big story. The big story should be the fact that these records, with SS numbers exposed, are made available on the Internet, thanks to elected officials.

Betty Ostergren recently found the same documents for one major U.S. corporation and their top brass on twelve different state government websites. The same list of SS numbers and home addresses for the top executives appeared on government websites in in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and South Dakota. And each year that the company filed a report within those states, the same 40+ SS numbers showed up on the documents, which are available to anyone in the world. (North Carolina did unsuccessfully attempt to redact the numbers.) The SS numbers of many top executives from many corporations are available on the Internet, on public records published on state websites. And so are the Social Security numbers of plain old Joe Shmoes, too. But most of them don’t realize it, and when their identities are compromised, they’ll wonder how their SS numbers got into the wrong hands.

We live in an ignorant country, where people pay more attention to sports and entertainment than the actions of our legislators.

Go to The Virginia Watchdog and read everything you can to become fully informed about the identity theft crisis fueled by public records.

Robert Siciliano http://IDTheftSecurity.com

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Identity Theft Facts Are Shocking

Many people are affected by identity theft every day, and these victims suffer for some time after thieves steal their identity. The increase in this crime makes it important that everyone learns the important identity theft facts so they can avoid becoming a victim in the future. Once people realize how these criminals work these identity theft facts should help protect them from these awful thieves.

People sometimes become victims of identity theft when they write a check, when they order something on line and when they rent a car. Ordinary activities may place people in jeopardy, and those who are familiar with the identity theft facts advise that everyone should be aware of their surroundings. People can take this and other measures to protect themselves.

People must continue to do these routine actions, but they must take appropriate steps when doing some of these routine actions to protect themselves. The Federal Trade Commission collects identity theft facts and passes these facts to the public. This agency is most responsible for combating this crime so the identity theft facts collected is extensive.

Identity Theft Facts can Provide Some Protection

People who work in centers that provide identity theft facts have determined what precautions people might take to avoid identity theft. These identity theft facts help from time to time so everyone should pay attention to these identity theft facts and they should follow the advice when possible.

Every person should know that these thieves can take the needed information from one’s pocket or from one’s computer. Information should be in a secure place so workers or roommates do not have access to personal information. People should have a shredder so the information put into the trash cannot be taken by people looking for something to steal. Some of these thieves get their information from the garbage.

There are so many identity theft facts that are important for individuals. These are important facts for those who have been victims as well as those who need to protect themselves to avoid being a victim. Every person should monitor their bank accounts and their credit reports.

Accounts and reports could show signs that someone has stolen your identity. Any unauthorized withdrawal or expenditure may be a mistake by the bank, but these could also be signs that someone has stolen your identity. People should be careful of any transactions that they make via the internet. Accounts should have passwords and a customer should never give their password to anyone.

If you love this article, you will also love another article written by this article’s author on best paper shredders and paper shredders reviews.

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Stop Identity Theft With Password Management

A strong password protects you from identity theft. Even if it is a personal computer, have a secure password to prevent intrusion of hackers who are in search of personal information such as social security number, credit card information etc. Here are some best practices given by professionals in password management.

Never write or reuse an old password
The first rule of password management is that the user should not write the password anywhere. If you are unable to remember difficult passwords, take time and frame a password that you can remember and yet secure.

Prevent dictionary attack
Professionals in password management recommend selecting a password that cannot be guessed easily or can be found in a dictionary. This helps to prevent dictionary attack in which, the words in the dictionary are compared with the hash stored in the computer. The word that matches with the hash is regarded as the password. To prevent identity theft, it is recommended to use a password which is eight characters in length and is a mix of capital letters and small letters. You can even consider using special symbols to make it more secure. Avoid using social security number or birthday dates as passwords.

Prevent brute force attack
A well framed password that escapes dictionary attack is susceptible to brute force attack. Brute force attack is the process where the hacker generates hash code for every possible combination of alphabets, number and special symbols and compares it with the hash stored by the computer. Protect yourself from identity theft via brute force attack by setting a security hurdle that will disable the account after repeated failed attempts to login the account.

Set time limit for your passwords
Another best password management practice is to set limit for passwords. By setting a time limit to the password, the system will force you to change the password after the given time period. It is recommended to change the password every 90 days and to avoid reuse of the same password within a period of 180 days.

Check the logs
It is recommended to check the logs periodically to identify unsuccessful attempts to login your account. If there are any attempts to break the password, change the password immediately to prevent identity theft.
Put the above password management tips in practice and fight against identity theft.

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Disturbing Facts About Identity Theft

As I researched a series of articles about identity theft, I came across a lot of statistics.  The shudder down my spine grew colder and more intense with every number.

Did you know that only 20 percent of identity theft involves credit card fraud?  It’s true, according to the latest statistics available from the Federal Trade Commission.  Identity thieves use stolen information in countless ways.  Without giving the bad guys any ideas, let’s just say that they can mess up your entire life, not just your credit.

Furthermore, only 11 percent of identity theft is committed by high-tech methods, and 48 percent is committed by someone known to the victim.  This means that the receptionist at your dentist’s office or a hotel clerk is the one who is most likely to steal your identity, not the zit-faced hacker in the Ukraine.  Even if you shred every document, never lose your wallet, and never touch a computer, you can be victimized.  Unless you plan on physically looking over everyone’s shoulders all the time, you had better find another way to protect yourself.  

Why bother worrying about it?  Because identity theft is an easy crime to commit, and it is being committed more and more often, rising from 2007 to 2008 alone by 22 percent. In fact, the incidence of identity theft has risen steadily for the past decade.  With the economy mired in the doldrums, this trend will surely continue.  

Why is identity theft increasing?  Desperate people who wouldn’t otherwise turn to crime see it as almost a “victimless crime” since fraud protection laws now place most of the financial burden on banks.  These people get to work quickly once they have your information.

Here is another fact about identity theft:  The damage happens fast (usually beginning within one week of the information being acquired, according to the FTC), but it takes many aggravating hours (over 70 on average) to undo if it can be done at all.  Some people do not find out that they have been victimized until years later when the IRS audits them for income attributed to their Social Security number but not claimed on thier taxes.  Other people find out that the thief has committed other crimes and used thier stolen identity when caught.  Imagine learning that you’ve been arrested for burglary in another state!

The key to avoiding all this is to remember the adage, “Prevention is the best medicine.”  Identity theft is like a disease in the sense that preventing it is preferable to treatment.  In the event that you get the disease, early diagnosis and treatment are the best way to beat it.  

Which brings us to the good news:  Tools have been developed to help people protect themselves, and these are becoming better and less expensive all the time.  If you have anything to lose, the facts say you should look into them. 

Get more facts and identity theft protection tools!

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Identity Protection: Protect Yourself!

It is important to protect yourself from identity theft since identity theft happens all the time to those that would least expect it. For this reason, most of the time stolen identities are not even found out about for a very long time after the identity has been stolen. Therefore, by the time the person finds out their identity has been stolen, it is usually after severe damage has already been done (usually the cause of the person finding out) and is therefore a huge ordeal to fix everything, not to mention taking a very long time to get everything straightened out to how it was before their identity was stolen. So, how can you protect yourself? And, how can you check to be sure everything is ok?

 

You can protect yourself against identity theft by not giving away any personal information to anyone who contacts you and asks you directly. Usually it will begin with some sort of story such as they noticed something happened to your banking account and so they need certain information, or something happened with your taxes, or something happened with whatever. It could be anything. They could call you or contact you on-line to claim that they need verification for something so they need certain information from you. The bottom line is, if they are the ones contacting you and then they claim they need certain information, do not give them any information! If you contact them because you need a service done and then they ask you for certain information, chances are it is ok since you are the one that contacted them and asked them for a service, but if the information they are asking for does not seem necessary, it is always a good idea to ask why they would need that information. Always use services for which you have good referrals for, if possible, or at least ones that you have researched on-line to see what others had to say about them. Be sure you do not get your information for recommendations on their actual website since those could be fake to try and promote their services.

 

It is also a good idea to shred anything that has information about you instead of just throwing it away since people can and sometimes do go through trash to find out information about others. If you are worried about your identity, check your credit score regularly. If someone has stolen your identity, chances are that your credit score will shoot down for no apparent reason, other than the reason that someone has stolen your identity.

Help ensure identity protection today!

Erik Heyl is a freelance author and marketer in Canada. I offer press release writing and submission, WordPress installation and configuration as well as e-book and article creation. I can be reached at www.erikheyl.com

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