Identity Theft - 10 Simple Ways to Protect Your Good Name!Written by Titus Hoskins
Identity Theft is one of most serious problems facing Internet users. Identity Theft is exactly as name states - someone steals your Identity and commits fraud in your name. It can result in untold financial and legal problems that may literally ruin your peace of mind and/or your life. Someone gaining control of your most personal details can reck havoc and result in dire consequences for you and your family.
So you must do everything in your power to prevent Identity Theft. Actually, if you follow some simple 'common sense' procedures - you can reduce your risk significantly. Follow these simple steps and you may prevent yourself from becoming a victim of Identity Theft.
Please keep in mind, any computer connected to Internet can be hacked! The only way to be 100% safe from Identity Theft is to not use a computer or Internet. Even then, many banking institutions and government agencies may have your vital information in their hands and possibly online - so no one is really safe!
Despite this grime prospect, there are many things you can personally do to protect yourself from Identity Theft. Simple safeguards that can stop would-be thieves in their tracks and make it difficult for anyone to misuse your well earned good name and reputation.
Try these relatively simple steps:
1. If you do a lot of surfing on web - set your own security standards! Most browsers will let you set security level of your connections. If you're using Internet Explorer, click on Tools in task bar, go to Internet Options and set your level of security. Try to set this to as high a standard as you can.
2. Place a firewall on your computer or network. A firewall is a system or gateway that prevents unauthorized access to your computer or private network. It is usually first line of defense in protecting your private information or data. A good firewall will help protect you from malicious attacks of spyware, adware, malware, worms, trojans, and hackers. There is no reason not to have a firewall in place, you can download a free firewall from www.zonealarm.com for your personal use.
3. Get a good anti-virus software program that will help protect your computer against spyware, adware, malware and so on. Purchasing such a program that is updated regularly will save you money in long run and will add an extra layer of protection for your PC.
Identity TheftWritten by Bob Osgoodby
Basically, there are two forms of "identity theft". The first, and most common is someone co-opts your credit card information. This can be done in a number of ways, and while there is some trepidation about giving out this information online, if it is on a "secure" site, there is little chance of it happening there. More commonly, it is a lost or stolen credit card, or careless handling by an employee of a company where you used credit card to make a purchase. Always be sure you get carbon paper if they use a machine to imprint information from your card.
If you do get an incorrect charge from a vendor that you did business with, this is not identity theft. This is usually a mistake, and usually, can be easily corrected directly with vendor. If vendor does not cooperate, file a "disputed charge" form with credit card company
The second, and more insidious form of identity theft, is when someone assumes your identity, and opens up credit card accounts, or cell phone accounts in your name. They can also use your social security number when applying for a job (a favorite trick of illegal aliens), or your drivers license to get a duplicate copy.
Communications tools available on Internet are allowing criminals to engage in new schemes and strategies, and identity theft can be carried out easily over Internet.
All scam artists need do, is pay a fee to an information broker to get an individual's Social Security number. Online databases also contain address information, while an individual's mother's maiden name can be found in obituaries or other public documents. Typically, they also have bills sent to a different address so you won't even get bills and be alerted.
Recently, two Memphis men used Internet to engineer an identity-theft scam that allowed them to use credit cards of half a dozen top business executives. They ordered more than $700,000 worth of expensive watches and jewelry. The people who had their identity stolen, didn't find out about it until after they had credit problems.