Saturday, June 27, 2009

What is Identity Theft and How to Prevent It?

Let us face it - The problem of identity theft is a rising concern for almost every computer user. This problem is on the rise as a threat to your security. I think it is better to prevent identity theft with a heavy hand than to suffer far-reaching consequences by falling victim to it.

How identity theft is attempted

It is of immense importance for you to know that steeling your identity is attempted through certain emails. These emails are referred to as phishing. A phishing email is likely to come from your brokerage firm, bank, Credit Card Company or online auction company. The email carries a message for you to update your valuable information in order to avoid a disturbance in their services.

The phishing email contains a link to the fake website that is a replica of the original website of your bank or Credit Card Company. Any information that you load on to the fake website makes its way to the website of identity theft artists. Then they use the information as a tool to threaten your identity.

How to prevent Identity Theft

Fortunately, there are several measures of identity theft prevention for you to ensure the security of your identity and valuable personal data. Using a quality shredder to shred the documents containing credit or bankcard account numbers, social security number and other valuable information is one of the simplest measures against it.

There are numerous inexpensive and convenient measures to choose from, when it is a serious matter of protecting your personal data on the Internet. Installing a quality spyware and virus scanning program, such as Anti-Virus PLUS, on your computer can arm you against identity theft. You need to keep them updated. The offer of virus and spyware protection along with high-speed internet access from internet service providers is a better option for your protecting your identity if you are a novice with computers.

What you should keep in mind

You need to have both common sense and knowledge for identity theft prevention and protection. Avoid clicking on a link of a phishing email that asks you for personal information. You should rather type the URL in the web browser when you want to visit the website. Always keep in mind that a request from a brokerage firm, bank or any such other financial institution asking for your social security number or password is highly unusual.

If you are in the doubt of the authenticity of an email that you have received in the name of a financial firm, always contact the firm.

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