Thursday, July 30, 2009

Do Not Be A Victim Of Cyber Identity Theft

By Wayne Allen

Identity theft is a growing problem that concerns anyone that has a computer. Cyber thieves use many different tactics such as hacking, use of spyware, key loggers to obtain financial information from their victims computers.

The most recent scam to be wary of is called phishing, pronounced like fishing. The phisher sends a simple e-mail that appears to have come from a legitimate site, Usually from the person's financial institution.

The e-mail would state that there is a problem with the account. The e-mail would ask you to click the link provided to resolve the matter. The link leads to a web site that looks exactly like that of your financial institution. You will then be instructed to fill out a form that will require your social security or credit card numbers, or some other confidential financial information.

There are ways to minimize your exposure

Attackers may try to deceive you by creating web pages that seem to be legitimate. Do not click on any links in your e-mail. Open a new browser window and type the address in yourself.

Check privacy policies of sites that you do business with, to see how they distribute information. Most companies allow customers to request that their info not be shared with other companies.

Always be in a high security state of mind. Be skeptical of new sites and links, IM messages and e-mails.

Often check credit reports for odd transactions or transactions that you do not remember. Keep an eye out for unusual charges on your bill, bills for products or services you did not receive.

Contact the Social Security office if your SS number has been accessed or the DMV if your driver's license has been stolen. This is to warn these agencies of unauthorized use of your ID information. You will also need to file a report with local police.

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