Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Internet Identity Theft - Fact Or Fiction?

As Internet use continues to grow, Internet identity theft is becoming more of a risk amongst people of all ages. The FTC reported that one in eight Americans in the past five years has been affected by this kind of theft.

The theft of your identity via the internet is much different from regular identity theft because of the following: In the case of regular identity theft, a person's wallet or personal identification is stolen from them. In this case, the victim of the theft expects that their stolen identification will be used against them. The victim of the theft usually runs to the police immediately following the theft. With web based theft, the effects can be much worse.

This is because in this form, one does not know their identity has been stolen from them. Nothing has to really be physically taken in order for an identity to be stolen. Internet thieves can steal identities by taking information from users when it is transmitted over unsecured connections. Thieves can also get information by installing malicious software on a person's computer. This software might collect all kinds of personal information. This information may include things like credit card numbers, bank account numbers, passwords, names, and addresses. Thefts of this type of personal information can cause an unsuspecting victim to lose a lot of money. No one wants this kind of personal information taken from them. In order to avoid Internet ID theft, it's a good idea to keep virus software updated and to also consider putting up an Internet firewall.

Take extra caution however when shopping for software that will prevent Internet identity theft. Often advertising for Internet identity theft software will pop up on a computer screen. However, the pop-ups are not advertising software that will help Internet users. More often than not, this type of software is really spyware in disguise. Therefore, it is a good idea for Internet users to buy security software from a trusted source.

Find out how you can prevent identity theft and make sure that you keep your identity safe online.

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