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  • Monday 15 August 2016

    The Danger of Identity Theft

    Any business owner or even every single person should be well-conscious of the current state of identity theft. And we all must know how important it is to to protect your customers and your own business from fraud to maintain its well-known reputation and stable development.

    What is identity theft?

    Identity theft is defined as the fraud of someone to make money from using your confidential document or illegally enter any transaction under your identity. An example can be the “credit card cloning”. The culprit may use someone else’ information and apply for credit cards, bank accounts to buy items through the Internet, One other of the most common identity theft cases is tax fraud and scams that may be greatly damaging under any tax season no matter how safe and secured your personal info is. Specifically, the identity thieves use made-up Social Security Numbers (SNN) randomly and file the tax forms to try to claim any possible return. And sadly, the chances of being the random victim can be you.

    The consequences can be terrific and time-consuming for anyone, which which can lead to nonstop amount of unknown debts, bankruptcy, etc. Even worse, solving your identity theft case or reversing the harm from the fraud is also as troublesome as it can go for years to settle.

    Facts of Identity Theft

    Frank Agagnale once said, ‘the police can't protect everyone. Individuals should be more mindful and instructed about identity fraud or theft. You should be a little bit wiser, and smarter; plus, nothing is wrong with being skeptical. We live in a world where if you make it easy for someone to steal from you, they will eventually.’ And I believe this always stays true. Up until now, there have been over 8,513,000 identity theft victims worldwide, which is happening every two seconds. Identity theft is a growing serious issue in the United States which has risen alarmingly over the last decades. Another surprising fact is that currently, medical sector has been on top of those that have data stolen by identity thieves since five years ago. Hence, protecting your own health insurance is as crucial as your SSN.

    How do you protect your identity from being theft?

    This question must be constantly asked right after the frightening facts above have been shown.Fortunately, there are many easy and effective ways to protect yourself. First of all, having the  best paper shredders  can be the foremost solution to dispose of any sensitive information and that info will stay safe and secured within your organization. Other possible ways can be regularly checking your credit reports to let your bank know about any suspecting spending amount, strengthening your passwords and well securing any of your contact information or important accounts. Personally, I would recommend that you change your passwords for any highly-secured accounts every 6 months. Also, you should be smart and wary in using social media because there have been plenty of scams online. Social media has become tremendously so popular that even a company will look at the profiles of their job candidates through those media sites. Hence, people tend to upload most of their personal data but forget that they themselves make it easier for scammers to duplicate their information.

    By implementing these steps, any top secret documents such as employee files, social security numbers, banking details, medial insurance information, and addresses cannot be stolen and frauded. If you can secure yourself first, the chance of the information being stolen can be surely eliminated. And your company can avoid being sued for violating regulations on information protection. Likewise, Bill Nelson once said, “If we don’t act now to safeguard our privacy, we could all become the victims of identity theft”.

    Criminals look at identity theft and say only 1 in 700 criminals gets convicted of it. And they look at check forgery and they know that for every 1,400 forgers arrested, only about 123 get convicted and about 26 go to jail. So the rewards are great, but the risks are very slim. So that's one of the reasons that make it very popular.

    Sifiso Nkwanyana

    Author & Editor

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