Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Identity Theft: The Digital Doppelganger

"But he that fliches from me my good name/Robs me of that which not enriches him/And makes me poor indeed." (Shakespeare, Othello, Act iii, Sc.3.)

We live in a modern digital world where there exists a growing and unknown threat from cyber thieves. As we approach the end of the summer and begin to prepare for the holiday season, we must realize that we all are at risk of identity theft. In the era of quick internet searches one can find out a treasure trove of information on people with nothing more than a name and maybe an address. Understanding and awareness is what can mean the difference between proactively stopping a crime in its tracks or working reactively for months, if not years, to repair the damage.

What Is Identity Theft?

As defined by the RCMP Identity Theft is acquiring someone else's personal information for criminal intent (Royal Canadian Mounted Police). There are a myriad of methods that these thieves employ to gain your personal information and data. From the relatively  low tech 'shoulder serf' where an individual watches from behind or within eye sight of a machine, as you enter numerical information, such as an ATM pin or postal code at a gas station pump, to the more advanced 'fishing' emails.

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