Identity theft refers to a deliberate act of using the identity of someone else in order to obtain certain benefits such as credit benefits and financial advantage in another person’s name to their disadvantage (Merrell & Doarn, 2017). Identity refers to personal information of an individual, unique characteristics, or numbers that can only be provided by that person for purposes of authenticating himself or herself. For instance, a one may perpetrate identity theft by using personally identifying information of another person including credit card number, identification number, or name to commit fraud or crime (Holtfreter et al., 2015). There are different types of identity theft including financial identity theft wherein one uses the identity of another person to obtain financial benefits such as credit, goods and services; criminal identity theft that involves posing as another person when arrested for a crime; medical identity theft whereby an individual uses the identity of another person to obtain medical care and; identity cloning that involves use of another person’s information to assume the identity of that person in daily life (Roberts, Indermaur & Spiranovic, 2013). It is important to acknowledge that there are adverse consequences associated with identity theft on the part of the person whose identity has been assumed as they may be held responsible for actions committed by the perpetrator of their identity besides potentially incurring direct or indirect financial losses. Sadly, identity theft has escalated to alarming rates globally. For instance, online banking has received immense adoption in the modern world due to its reliability. However, this sector is engulfed in identity theft with majority of the victims ignorant about threads in online banking and thus end up victims of identity theft in online banking (Vidalis & Angelopoulou 2014). Notably, some of the threads on the Internet include Phishing E-Mails, Trojans, online business, payment systems, Easy Password, Spyware, internet auction, cookies, Man – in – the – Middle attacks, as well as Adware. These threads can potentially be exploited by crook individuals to facilitate identity theft and cyber crime (McGuire & Dowling, 2013). These measures augmented However, there are several ways through which consumers can protect themselves against threats of identity theft by the above-mentioned threads including the use of an effective Spyware and Adware remover, Anti-virus software, and Secured Wireless connection as well as deleting unwanted emails and avoiding unnecessary cookies. by never revealing identity in instant messaging can effectively protect consumers from identity theft. This paper seeks to develop an understanding on identity theft so as to create awareness about how it happens, the technologies used to perpetuate identity theft besides exploring ways by which an individual can protect himself or herself from identity theft. Indeed, the paper will present in-depth knowledge about what constitutes identity theft besides enlightening Internet users about the available tools, technology and programs they can use to safeguard against identity theft in cyber crime.
Identity Theft is a global concern that is in the rise all over the world. Indeed, identity theft presents one of the major problems globally. With the increasing reliance on the Internet as a platform for online business and communication, online fraud has correspondingly increased alongside online business. According to Harrell and Langton (2017), about 17.6 million persons aged 16 years and above in the United States have fallen victims of identity theft in one or more occasions in the year 2014 alone. Notably, this figure represents about 7 percent of the total population of the country. This finding is in agreement with a finding reported in 2012. Among victims of identity theft, 38 percent had information relating to their existing bank accounts stolen while 42 percent had their information relating to their credit card accounts stolen. Indeed, these represents the most common types of misused information (Harrell & Langton 2017). Considering the larger population, 3 percent of the population experienced misuse of an existing credit card account in 2014. Similarly, 3 percent of the population experienced misuse of an existing bank account in the same year. However, less than 1 percent experienced misuse of personal information other than existing accounts (Harrell & Langton 2017). It is evident that the most recent incidences of identity theft involve unauthorized use of existing accounts and constitutes over 86 percent of identity theft victims.
Knowledge and awareness about identity theft in cyber crime among internet users is critical for ensuring security of their personal information while on the internet. This topic is, therefore, significant in creating awareness of identity theft that will enable internet users to gain holistic understanding on how they can protect themselves from identity theft to avoid becoming victims. By developing holistic understanding of various technologies used by hackers to retrieve personal information of internet users and the available ways through which internet users can be protected from identity theft, this topic will significantly help to address the problem of identity theft in cyber crime.
In summation, identity theft is a global concern that is in the rise all over the world. It involves a deliberate act of using the identity of someone else in order to obtain certain benefits such as credit benefits and financial advantage in that person’s name to the disadvantage of that other person. Knowledge and awareness about identity theft in cyber crime among the internet users is critical for ensuring security of their personal information while on the internet.
Harrell, E., & Langton, L. (2017). Victims of identity theft, 2014 (p. 12). US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Holtfreter, K., Reisig, M. D., Pratt, T. C., & Holtfreter, R. E. (2015). Risky remote purchasing and identity theft victimization among older Internet users. Psychology, Crime & Law, 21(7), 681-698.
McGuire, M., & Dowling, S. (2013). Cyber crime: A review of the evidence. Summary of key findings and implications. Home Office Research report, 75.
Merrell, R. C., & Doarn, C. R. (2017). Identity Theft, a Reprise.
Roberts, L. D., Indermaur, D., & Spiranovic, C. (2013). Fear of cyber-identity theft and related fraudulent activity. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 20(3), 315-328.
Vidalis, S., & Angelopoulou, O. (2014). Assessing identity theft in the Internet of Things. Journal of IT Governance Practice.