Identity Theft and Computer Usage

Criminals Involved in Identity Theft Ring Used File-Sharing Software

Identity theft can occur in numerous ways, but very often a computer is involved in the crime. Not surprisingly, one story that made headlines recently involved identity theft that was committed by using computers. It's just another example of how we have to be very careful of what we store on our computers, how we store it and who we give access to.

Another Ring That Had Nothing To Do With Diamonds

Eight people in Colorado were recently indicted because they are suspected of being part of an identity theft ring. Essentially, the group used file-sharing software to gain entry into the computers of unsuspecting individuals. If you are a computer owner, you will find this story particularly troubling. There are certain steps that you can take as a computer owner to reduce your risk of identity theft. Often, it requires taking such steps as installing a fire wall.

The convicted individuals apparently used their victims’ names to open bank accounts and deposit both stolen and forged checks. The criminals even made fake IDs such as driver’s licenses and military IDs.

Firewalls Are Non-Negotiable

If you want to avoid identity theft and you are a computer owner, you have to be cautious. Make sure that your computer has firewall software installed. Also, if you let other individuals use your computer make sure that you use a product such as StompSoft’s Digital Vault which will keep your files private from them. If you are one of the many Windows users, you should make two accounts on your computer: an administrator account and a user account. If someone breaks into your computer remotely, that person is going to be severely limited in the damage they can do because they won’t be able to access your administrator account.

Keeping It In Perspective

You can be the victim of identity theft even if you don’t use or own a computer, so you certainly should not give up using a computer because of a fear of identity theft. Computers make our lives easier, and the nominal risk of identity theft is worth the convenience especially considering that we can become victims of identity theft without even ever having used a computer in our lives.

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