Top 10 Identity Theft Predictions For 2010 - Page 2

I've joined forces with the Identity Theft Resource Center to expand the pool of knowledge about identity theft

By Robert Siciliano | Posted Dec 21, 2009
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7. Insider Identity Theft: In the coming year, this will increase due to the failure to follow simple security protocols in the workplace. This will create opportunities for thieves to gain access to personal identifying information retained in databases or paper files. Additionally, the lack of computer security measures and the increasing skill levels of hackers will lead to larger and more financially harmful breaches. Although a few sophisticated hackers have been arrested recently, these large, extremely damaging hacking events will continue to occur. These thieves are educating young prot�g�es on high tech methods to access "secured” information and will likely continue to coordinate malicious attacks from their jail cells.

8. Governmental Identity Theft: More individuals will discover that they have become identity theft victims as they apply for government assistance and/or benefits. Not only will their own SSNs be used, but they may be temporarily denied benefits due to the use of their child's SSN, which has been used fraudulently. This type of identity theft, identified as "Governmental Identity Theft,” may be associated with complications with the IRS, Social Security Administration, Departments of Motor Vehicles, Medicare and Welfare.

9. Criminal Identity Theft: The number of cases of criminal identity theft will continue to grow. This type of crime is defined as the use of an individual's personal information to avoid being tied to their own criminal record. In the current environment, the effects of criminal identity theft on the victims will be more apparent with the loss of employment, loss of benefits and the increased number of arrests of victims ranging from failure to appear warrants for traffic citations all the way to felony level crimes. Criminals will continue to exploit the weaknesses of the current system and revictimize the individual whose information has been used.

10. Social Media Identity Theft: The meteoric rise in social media use has also created a launch pad for identity thieves. Social media identity theft happens when someone hacks an account via phishing, creates infected short URLs or creates a page using photos and the victims identifying information. My prediction for 2010 is that the increase in social networking activity, along with a user's failure to implement security and privacy settings and protocols, will lead to an increased exposure of not only the user's personal information but possibly that of their "friends.”

Bottom line, there will be an increase in identity theft crimes and the number of victims over the next two years unless significant changes are made in information security. Our most important asset is our identity. And we are functioning under a completely antiquated system of identification with wide open credit and few safeguards to protect the consumer. When state governments agree with federal agencies on effective identification and industry comes together, not to profit from the problem but to solve it, only then will we prevail.

Protect your identity. Get a credit freeze. Go to ConsumersUnion.org and follow the steps for your particular state. This is an absolutely necessary tool to secure your credit. In most cases, it prevents new accounts from being opened in your name. This makes your Social Security number useless to a potential identity thief.

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