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General Beware of identity thieves

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Archived_Member16, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. Archived_Member16

    Archived_Member16
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    Beware of identity thieves
    29/03/2006 3:19:00 PM

    Could it happen to you?

    Identity theft is the unauthorised collection and use of a person's, or even a business's, information. Identity thieves steal key pieces of personal information and use them to impersonate a person to commit crimes in his name.

    What do identity thieves look for?
    In addition to names, addresses and telephone numbers, identity thieves also look for:

    - date of birth
    - social insurance numbers (SIN)
    - driver license numbers
    - credit card and bank card numbers
    - bank account numbers

    With a name, address, date of birth, SIN, and mother´s maiden name this information, identity thieves can easily invade our personal and financial lives; they can open bank accounts, apply for credit cards or loans, redirect mail, rent vehicles and much more.

    How do they collect personal information on the web?
    Many websites collect personal information; while some do it upfront, others are less obvious about it.

    Certain websites request users to register prior to granting them access. Registration can be as simple as providing a username, password and email address; or they can require more detailed personal information such as your address or date of birth, questions about personal interests and hobbies, household income and even a password reminder question along the lines of "What is your mother´s maiden name?".

    Some websites use cookies to collect information. The cookies are commonly used to identify users when they return to a site; this way the site can be tailored to the user based on his history or preferences and the user doesn't need to re-enter certain details each time he visits the site.
    Cookies can also be used by a website to create a profile of a user based on his activity and browsing patterns that can then be used for advertising purposes. Once all the data is collected, it can be shared with advertisers or media networks or worse and can be abused if it gets in the wrong hands.
    Some websites will attach spyware to its freeware. The spyware can monitor and report your activities, and even what you type, and can also install more spyware.

    Email is a great and quick way to communicate; however, it is not a secure form of communication. An email is just about as private as a postcard. It can easily be shared, printed, forwarded, posted in a forum or newsgroup or even intercepted; exposing all of it's content for the world to see.
    By opening SPAM mail or clicking on any links (possibly "unsubscribe" links too) found within unsolicited emails you may be confirming to the spammer that your email is valid and opening yourself to more SPAM.

    How to lower your risks when using the Internet?

    - Avoid clicking on an unknown link or website or unfamiliar e-mail. The link may take you to a fraudulent site.
    - Familiarise yourself with a website's privacy policy before entering any information or subscribing to any services or electronic newsletters.
    - Be wary of computer start-up software that asks for registration information.
    - Password protect your PC.
    - Never share your passwords and don't use the same password for everything.
    - Don't use e-mail to send personal information.
    - Consider using webmail or "disposable" e-mail addresses for online registrations or purchases, in order to help keep your personal email address private and spam free.
    - Beware of Internet promotions that ask for personal information.
    - After completing any sort of financial transaction online, properly sign out of the website and clear your internet file/cache. Check your browser´s help menu to find instructions.
    - Don't give a credit card number or other information to a company that doesn't provide their name, business address, telephone number and e-mail address or to a company you aren´t already familiar with.
    - Before giving your credit card number or other financial information to a business, make sure that their website is protected and secured. Look for a yellow padlock located on your browser's window and make sure the URL begins with "https://".
    - Keep your identity confidential in chat rooms, forums, instant messaging, and newsgroups. Choose usernames/aliases that do not identify you, and keep in mind that any information you exchange is not private.
    = Look into encryption, firewalls and virus protection for your computer.
    Enforce the above practices within your family


    Internet use and web transactions are on the rise. More people are transmitting valuable personal information across cyberspace on a regular basis causing an increase of identify theft, fraud and privacy concerns. Use the convenience of the Internet, just use it wisely at all times. Think before you click.


    © 2006 Bell Canada, Microsoft Corporation and/or their contributors. All rights reserved.
     
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  3. KulwantK

    KulwantK
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    Sat Nam, and Greetings to all! Thank you for this information, and here are some more ideas to help keep your identity intact. When you wish to go shopping, either at a mall store or online, you can get pre-paid credit cards that have a certain amount of money on them. You can use those cards for your purchases, then cut them up and dispose of them. You can often buy these cards at various big stores, or you can go by a bank and purchase them, and tell the bank (if it's your bank) that you do not want that card connected to your account at all. They should understand. However, some online stores will not take such cards, and also, when you are shopping online, make sure it's a Secure Site- often you will see a little icon in the shape of a padlock somewhere on the screen.
    When you are talking on the telephone or using Instant Messenger, please be very careful what information you give to anyone, especially if you do not know them. Also, when you have your checks printed, never ever put your Social Security number on them. If someone at a store wants you to put your Social Security number on your check, you can then ask them where their Privacy Act Statement is- that is required by law for anyone to ask you for your Social Security number. You also have the option of putting a fake one on there, or paying cash, or not doing business with that store.
    One lady I know went to rent a car, and the people at the car rental place demanded her phone number. She tried to argue with them, to no avail. Most people do not care what personal information they give out-which is why identity theft is becoming so common-and so do not understand why anyone would be reluctant to give out theirs. In such situations I told her to next time just give some phone number-they do not care about her privacy issues.
    We should very much care about our personal information- identity theft is becoming very common.
    Cheers,
    Kulwant
     
  4. Huck_Finn

    Huck_Finn
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    Kulwant you are right...

    pre paid credit cards bought directly from Visa website are the best option- you can use your credit card to buy another pre paid credit card from a secure website and use it anywhere...
     
  5. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    The best option is to use insured low limit online credit card.even typing your credit card no. in computer is not fully safe.there may be key loggers in your computers which could send all the information which you type.
     
  6. Huck_Finn

    Huck_Finn
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    (previously amarsanghera, account deactivated at t
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    hehehe

    best is buying "genuine" top of the line anti spam ware..

    muaaaaaaaah
    that brings some money to the IT folks
     

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