Jun 232012

Asking the question why people steal identities of other people is a difficult thing to ask.  It is even a more difficult thing to answer.  Knowing this answer takes a lot of knowledge about what identity theft is and also takes a lot of understanding of people in general.  Identity theft is when someone steals credit card, social security, or other personal information from someone else and uses that information to do fraudulent things like get credit cards or rent apartments.

Personal information can be stolen in many ways, but the most likely is that the thief steals a credit card application from your trash.  A thief can also steal your social security number and with that they can do all sorts of damage to your credit and to your life.  A social security number can be stolen when a person loses his or her social security card, or, more commonly, when the person gives out that social security number to someone willingly.  This can happen, and frequently does happen, in internet fraud schemes.  Credit card numbers can also be stolen on the internet.  Paying for an item on the internet at a questionable site can lead to identity theft, though most internet sites are very safe.

Credit card numbers are commonly stolen when a person leaves their wallet somewhere.
Knowing why people steal identities of other people is difficult because each thief has their own agenda and plan. Most commonly, identities are stolen because the person stealing the identity needs money. Sometimes that thief feels this is the only way to get money – by stealing it. Another reason why people steal identities is they want to cause trouble. A lot of crimes are committed for that reason alone. Sometimes, beside that a person may need money or want to cause trouble, the thief may want to buy new things and he or she doesn’t have the money to do so. Everyone like looking at a brand new TV and wishes they could have it, but an identity thief makes a plan and takes steps to steal your identity and use your name to get that TV.

There are several companies offering identity protection service.  One is called LifeLock.  They provide a comprehensive personal identity and information protection.  There are also companies like Protect My ID and Trusted ID, which both offer some kind of protection of identities. Some people in this industry question identity theft protection services.

Besides such services, there is also identity protection level covered by some security software like Norton 360. This security software protects identity in the way that it warns of unsafe websites right in search results and automatically blocks them. It helps manage passwords so users don’t need to enter them which is useful against keyloggers. It also have some protection mechanisms which prevent hackers to get into users’ PC.

All in all, and besides all of the services and software available, it is still mostly up to each individual to protect own identity. Caution and awareness always pay us some kind of reward down the road.

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