When you use the Internet and sign up for different accounts, each time you type into the input boxes, you put a little bit of yourself out there for others to see. Maybe you simply post comments on blogs or message boards, or maybe you shop or conduct banking - each occurrence opens up the possibility that your information will fall into the wrong hands, which can lead to cases of ID theft. Most people at least know of someone that has been victimized in some manner by an identity thief, so the truth is that it can happen to anyone, anywhere.
Though there is no "set" type of person that identity thieves prey upon, a few different groups of people fall into the category of typical victims. These include the elderly, the very young, and those that like to actively use the Internet. Each of these three groups of people are targeted for a set of reasons, which include the following:
1. Unfamiliarity with using computers and the Internet. If people don't know how to properly use online services or present their information in a protected manner, it is easier for people to take advantage of them.
2. Lack of history makes it easy for someone to step in and take over; teenagers commonly find out that people assumed their identities and racked up debt or applied for things in their names - rendering their Social Security numbers somewhat useless upon turning 18 and discovering the theft.
3. Oversharing without variety makes it easy for people to take advantage. People that spend a lot of time online and use the same log on information for everything are more likely to become victims of identity theft because figuring out one thing is like figuring out everything, which makes it simple to delve deep into a person's life.
Identity theft has become much more common as the Age of the Computer has evolved; more people providing information has led to a rise in theft across the globe. Despite an increase in occurrence, the theft is also much harder to trace, as the electronic footprint of these people is much more difficult to trace due to server use and IP address changes. With a rise in identity theft, the entire world has been put on alert, leading to the development and deployment of services like credit and identity monitoring, as well as single sign on services and password keepers. These types of measures are designed to help the people that use them, giving back some measure of privacy and the ability to protect and defend their information.
Make Smart Decisions
Identity theft can happen to anyone - and it does happen to even the most careful people. Making smart choices and implementing outside help can do wonders when it comes to protecting information and keeping identities intact; companies like http://www.identityguard.com/ offer great choices for these types of software, giving people the chance to keep what they have worked hard for private. Do the right thing - don't give out passwords, don't let others use personal computers, never give out Social Security numbers over the phone or through email links... and always, always keep a close eye on what is most important - private accounts and information.