Identity Theft is one of the most common issues. Due to the shrinking safety in the world, we are forced to think about the protection of our identity from theft attacks. The protection of our identities depends upon both ways, personal care and following the policies too. Why people are constantly losing control over their identity is because they do not rely on the entities that share necessary information to protect their personal data. It is also a responsibility of the organisations or systems to first chain the trust of people in the whole identity safeguarding process to get rid of identity theft.
Identity is an emotional topic to talk about because an individual’s personality is connected with his identity and it his one’s identity that distinguishes him from another being. Almost everything in this world has a name and if someone else takes it away who is also mis-using it, then it surely becomes an emotional topic. Our social security numbers are another identity that identifies us to our government and we have the driving license that is a proof we are eligible to drive our vehicles on the roads of our country. Each identity document is considered as important because it makes us a dignified or genuine citizen of our country, which is why our identities have the specific purpose in our life.
Many countries have opted for safety measures regarding prevention against identity theft:
1. Use of biometric identifiers in offices for every kind of verification.
2. Allotting identity cards to reliable voyagers so that they can gain access to specific services.
3. Issuing electronic passports that carry a smart card chip that can help delivering the correct information of a holder’s identity securely to an official.
One of the fastest growing crime in the US, Identity theft is taking away all the precious assets from the victims in terms of their hard-earned wealth, name and fame. Not only the actual identity thief, but there are other perpetrators in the middle who are also involved in the crime. Thieves find too many ways to commit this crime and the most common methods could be dumpster diving and social engineering.
The practice of looting the personal documents through the garbage of one’s house. Dumpster divers believe on the fact that people are not aware of their credentials that carry their personal information and do not take pains to discard those papers properly without leaving any proof of their identity.
In social engineering, the thieves usually trick people through techniques and commit online transaction frauds. A thief may gain the trust of a colleague and borrow his ID and password to access his secure network or they may use your social security number associated with your account.
Hackers use many tools and techniques to steal identities of the people. Some of the techniques are:
1. Hacking- Getting an illegal access to someone’s computer or any electronic device, is termed as hacking. Spywares are used for hacking the computer system. The thieves track the activities of the victims and take advantage of their internet connection, the users install spyware and after agreeing to the license agreement, they do not get to know, but they are hacked.
2. Phishing- It is a fraudulent attack in which the user is directed to some other website and asks for the personal details. In the phishing frauds, the perpetrator allures the user by sending alarming emails so that the user gets frightened about the services he is availing.
3. Skimming- The pattern of thieves in which they capture your credit card’s information by some form of the card reader. It usually happens at the ATM machines where the user swipes his card and because of some technology used by the identity thief, your card’s number and other details reach him. It may cause you substantial loss of money.
4. Pharming- It is a combination of too many types of frauds like phishing, viruses, spoofing, domain name system (DNS) or spyware. The user has an idea about he being directed to an authentic site, but in actual case, he is not.
The Federal Government and many other state jurisdictions are passing regulations and guidelines to regulate this crime and control the actions of these criminals. The government is also promoting educational ads and resources for people to recuperate from identity theft. Due to identity theft, many businesses are also affected and face a big loss. The industry sectors are trying to tackle this issue in such a way that is beneficial for the industry and safe from the patterns of theft attacks. We need to stay educated and aware of the theft characteristics and need to monitor our sources of identity. Your identity is our personal asset; you need to protect your identity.