Before the widespread use of the internet and electronic transactions, identity protection involved making sure that any paperwork that had a person’s identifying information on it was destroyed before it went into the trash can. Pilfering mailboxes and rummaging through trashcans was the most often used method of gaining someone’s identification, but the age of electronics has made it easier for people to gather all the information needed to assume another person’s identity.
The use of computers has made life easier for most people, keeping their information readily available, but has also made identity protection tougher with the many ways certain individuals use to hack into computer systems. Gleaning information from personal computers may seem unlikely, but with wireless networking is use in many households, a person on the street can use new types of burglary tools to gain access to the information, often bypassing cheap identity protection software.
Additionally, as people upgrade their identity protection capabilities, those looking to steal personal information devise new ways to get around them. Instead of digging through garbage cans or risking being seen going through mailboxes, the new breed of identity thieves can sit in the home at the computer and get around mane forms of identity protection to steal the information they need to open new accounts in the victims’ name.
Not All Thefts Focus On Money
While opening new charge accounts may seem the most common reason for identity theft, using appropriate identity protection can also protect people against civil and criminal charges if someone pretends they are someone else at the time of their arrest. Having enough personal information to convince law enforcement they are someone else gives them enough time to leave the area, allowing the victim to take the brunt of any pending legal action.
By using a stolen identity, a person could travel across the country leaving a wake of illegal activities blamed on someone else. Even those with poor credit should practice identity protection measures to keep their name from being sullied by others who may not always have the best intentions of using their newfound identity. Making sure all paperwork with identifying information is destroyed before sending it a landfill is still one of the best identity protection measures available.
Keeping track of accounts being opened in their name is another more popular method of identity protection and by being alerted to new credit checks can often stymie efforts of stealing an identity and turning a person’s financial life upside down in the process.