Got a special tip to protect against ID theft?

Doing something smart to protect yourself against ID theft?

The problem is becoming pervasive, with the Federal Trade Commission receiving 1.3 million fraud complaints in 2009 alone, reports AJC staffer Katie Leslie.

Sixty-two percent of people said the Internet, largely through e-mail, was the source of initial contact, Leslie writes.

Plus, the growth of social networking sites is likely to fuel many more victims.

By sharing seemingly mundane personal details and preferences, people might be giving the bad guys clues about their security codes, Leslie writes.

For example, by revealing your dog’s name, hometown and date of birth on your Facebook page, a persistent hacker could reasonably guess potential passwords and use computer programs to run millions of iterations of possibilities.

Has anything like this happened to you?

Have you stopped or restricted your use of social networking sites because of privacy and security issues?

What do you do that can help avoid becoming a victim?

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6 comments Add your comment

Geneen

September 20th, 2010
7:42 am

Nothing like this has ever happened to me, but I’m really considering to end my public network accts.

Gram

September 20th, 2010
8:20 am

This same thing JUST happened to a friend of mine on facebook. I removed my email address from that site immediately. It DOES happen, and a LOT. It’s mostly Nigerians, and they are now working to arrest these people.

Palin fan

September 20th, 2010
9:32 am

Renounce your citizenship and chuck that pesky social security number in the trash.

Denise Richardson

September 20th, 2010
9:50 am

Always make sure your computer is safe. Keep your virus protection software up-to-date and avoid using unsecured wireless networks. Be sure that you (or your children) don’t have unsecure peer-to-peer software on your computer -leaving easy access points for hackers to bypass your security and copy what they want from your computer, including photos, email, tax returns and important documents. Criminals today make use today’s technology and we must too when trying to avoid becoming a victim. Some of today’s available services make use of advanced technology to will scan public records, underground chat rooms and other databases that will detect and alert you to potentially fraudulent use of your data -before the real harm occurs. With more and more criminals making use of this advanced technology, we must tap into them too. As an advocate, and victim myself, I continue to encourage consumers to take id theft seriously, stay alert to these latest advances in the “business” of identity theft -and the business of identity theft protection services. As always, be fully informed when making a choices on how best to protect your identity. Compare today’s services and then determine what service offers the best protection, value and peace of mind.

TnGelding

September 20th, 2010
9:54 am

Yeah, make it a capital offense. Why can’t these folks do something constructive with their genius?

Shawn Mosch

September 20th, 2010
2:47 pm

My advise to people for protection from cyber crimes is to Google everything. Doing a simple Google search on the name, phone number or other information that you have on a person could really be an eye opener.

Also, don’t trust cashier’s checks. So many of the scams out there today use counterfeit cashier’s checks in them, and the banks cannot even tell that they are counterfeit. Even if the bank tells you the check is clear, good or verified, it could come back a week later as counterfeit and you will be liable, not the bank.