With the advent of technology, identity thieves don’t have to work as hard to capture personal information and breach accounts as they once did. While criminals still get account numbers by sifting through trash and spying on consumers at checkout, many have stepped up their game, employing high tech methods to commit fraud. Because of this, more consumers are searching, “protectmyid” every day, looking for solutions from government agencies and companies to protect information.
Ways Thieves get Information And Id Theft Protection Measures
ID thieves get personal identifying information, account numbers and passwords a number of ways.
Phishing Links-These are links imbedded in emails and web content by identity thieves designed to capture your information. Once a consumer divulges financial information such as bank account numbers or credit card account numbers, criminals monitoring the site can retrieve this information. Internet shopping websites that are unprotected are especially at risk for this type of fraud.
Unprotected websites. Many people make purchases online on shopping websites every day. If sites are not protected by encryption it is possible that identity thieves can easily retrieve bank account and credit account information, committing Internet fraud. Because data is transmitted from the consumer web browser to a server, sensitive information must go through many computers before it reaches its destination.
Most information is sent in plain text if no security measures are put in place to protect the user site. Other websites besides shopping sites are also protected against identity theft. These include, government benefit sites, Internal Revenue Service sites, medical provider websites and online banking portals. Because identity theft has become so prevalent in this country, (a stolen identity every three seconds) companies and government agencies are forced to provide secure networks that contain sensitive consumer data and information.
SSL Encryption-A Solution To Fight ID Theft-Many websites subscribe to Secure Sockets Layering technology services that encrypt data before it is transmitted to servers. This easily provides identity protection for consumer information captured by identity thieves, since it is no longer sent in plain readable text. Many certified SSL vendors provide seals to their clients that can be posted on websites ensuring consumers that their personal information is protected.
Smishing-This method of identity theft involves fraudulent messages sent to random cell phone numbers across the nation. Many contain information advising consumers that they have won contests through national retail chains or restaurants. Once cell users respond to these messages they are instructed to enter personal information on bogus websites.
Government Intervention To Protect My ID
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, (FBI) offers informative educational information to the public warning about the latest email and electronic identity theft scams and how to prevent identity theft, http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/e-scams. Some government sites also issue these in the form of a new fraud alert when scams are uncovered. To help consumers stay ahead of identity thieves, the federal government encourages you to check your credit score for free, periodically to look for major changes, and sign up for identity monitor services if you’ve been the victim of identity theft.
Telephone Apps-Stealing banking and credit information through the use of telephone applications has become just the latest method identity thieves use to obtain credit, debit, or bank account numbers. Some apps designed for consumer convenience can now actually be used to capture data. While the creators of these types of technology make every effort to ensure safe use for consumers to prevent identity theft, identity thieves find ways to override protective systems in place.
Identity theft companies work diligently with federal and state government agencies to combat identity theft every day. Unfortunately, with the use of new electronics and technologies, identity thieves find new ways to “beat the system” and retrieve personal, sensitive information anyway. Best Credit provides a host of products and services to protect you and your accounts so you can be confident your personal identifying information, bank account numbers, and credit aren’t used for fraudulent purposes.