Identity Theft Protection

Better Essays
Identity Theft Protection by IFSM 201
Feb 25, 2015

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) “… a stolen identity is a powerful cloak of anonymity for criminals and terrorists…and a danger to national security and private citizens alike…” (Identity Theft, 2010). Identity theft has been for many years the number one growing crime across America. According to the Bureau of Justice and Statistics (BJS) 16.6 million people were victims of Identity theft in 2012, with financial loses totaling somewhere in the neighborhood of $24.7 billion (McCarthy, 2013). The BJS defines identity theft as”the attempted or successful misuse of an existing account, such as a debit or credit card account, the misuse of personal information
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Identity theft can be a tiring crime for the victim. The victim’s life will suddenly have been transformed, faced with tasks that may be confusing and situations they don 't know how to handle. All too quickly, they will find that in identity theft cases, the burden of proving innocence rests on the shoulders of the victim (Hoar, 2001). Many experts have referred to identity theft as, the crime of the new millennium, because it can be accomplished anonymously and effortlessly through a variety of methods resulting in devastating consequences for the victims. While it is extremely challenging to prevent identity theft, the best approach is to be proactive and take necessary steps to avoid becoming a victim. This paper will briefly discuss identity theft protection and prevention and what we need to do if we become victims of identity theft and where to start …show more content…
Keep all digital storage devices and media secured, updated and protected. Install anti-virus software, anti-spyware software, and firewalls on all computers and set preference to update these protections often. This will protect against intrusions and infections that can compromise computer files or passwords. Additionally install recommended manufacturer security patches on loaded operating system(s) and other software programs (Taking charge what, 2013). Keep home network secure and never leave WIFI network(s) unencrypted. This is like leaving the front door open and letting hackers and thieves make themselves at home, to take what they want from your computers. There are endless other recommendations out there such as sanitize the contents of garbage and recycling bins at home to ensure no PII information is in them, removing name(s) from a mailing list(s). But the most important of them all is ensuring we perform a periodic review of all 3 major credit reports from: Equifax, Trans Union and Experian credit bureaus. As a minimum it is recommended we do this at least once a year. The FBI recommends that when someone realizes or suspects they have become a victim of identity theft, they need to first contact the fraud department of the three major credit bureaus, second contact the accounts issuer(s) in

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