Although the answer to this question is open ended, the truth is that the victims of identity theft are those that experience it - along with their friends, family and other loved ones. It may seem like the only people in this situation that are affected are the ones whose information has been compromised, but the act of identity theft also makes everyone surrounding them a potential victim as well. The practice of identity theft sets off a ripple effect that may take months - if not years - to completely erase.
How Are People Victimized?
Identity theft, when broken down into simple terms refers to the use of someone’s name, information or likeness without that person's permission, but it can mean so much more than rifling through bank accounts or accessing people's personal information. The people whose identities have been stolen often lose large amounts of money, the feeling of security and their sense of safety - but their families also suffer. When people are victims of the different types of identity theft, the thieves also often learn information about other relatives and friends, including names, address and phone numbers, which may open the flood gates for future cases of identity theft if the initial one goes unnoticed for long enough.
Where Can I Learn How to Prevent Identity Theft?
In order to prevent it, you must first educate yourself about identity theft and the ways that it can be prevented or detected. Websites like http://www.identityguard.com/what-is-identity-theft/ will give people a better idea of the ways that they can stop identity theft by recognizing the signs of potential breaches, and stop or cut back on behaviors that may be making their information more accessible to thieves. One positive to come from a large number of victims is that their stores are broadcast and serve as warnings for others to see, giving people the ability to learn from the mistakes of others. This also gives them an inside look at what the process of recovering from identity theft can be like.
Can It Happen to Me?
Identity theft can happen to anyone that releases information about their lives to others. It can happen while you’re entering your PIN number at the grocery store or trying to sign up for an online newsletter - all it takes is one individual getting one piece of your information. There are people that are professional scammers, spenting the days coming up with schemes to get others to release information to them, or to "hack" into major databases - and these people care about one thing and one thing only... obtaining and using your identity for their own personal gain. It may sound scary and exaggerated, but identity theft is not something that should be taken lightly. Websites offer guidelines for creating user names and passwords for a reason, and following their suggestions can do a great deal toward keeping information from becoming compromised.
Identity theft can happen to anyone, and although it is a scary process that will not resolve itself overnight, taking
precautions to prevent it from happening can save people a great deal of time, effort, and grief in the long run.