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6 Points That Will Help You Understand Identity Theft

6 Points That Will Help You Understand Identity Theft

In this microwave society, many individuals want their lives taken care of with a simple click of a button. Now, although we may wish we had a magic wand on hand to help us take care of simple tasks, that is only wishful thinking. However, I can at least offer you the next best thing. Online resources such as identity theft guides offer step by step solutions to protect your identity. They provide quality tools and tips to educate individuals and keep them safe.

1. What We Know About I.D Theft

Identity theft can be defined as the false acquisition and use of an individual’s personal information, usually for monetary gain. This can interfere with the victim’s credit, social security, banking, career, taxes, health insurance, and driver’s license, and it can even lead to false imprisonment. In other words, your whole life can be turned upside down.

2. History of Being Unprotected

Throughout American history, most forms of identity theft were connected with voter registration and had to do with ballot stuffing. Things greatly changed around the 1930’s with the 21st amendment. This law repealed Prohibition, and alcohol was once again legal. In the beginning, the legal drinking age was determined by individual states. Then, in 1984, the US Congress passed a bill requiring all states to set the drinking age at 21. Before that time, college students had been able to travel across state lines to states where the drinking age was 18 or 19. After 1984, many fake IDs began to be used in the United States.

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3. Immigration Spawns Increased Fraud

The practice of using someone else’s identity became prominent with the influx of illegal immigrants in 1965 as many industries in the United States began to grow. During some eras, illegal immigration became almost irrelevant because of the policies in place allowing migrant workers to come into America during harvest seasons for certain farm labor.

Although communities and states had their own laws against migrants in America, laws were often overlooked as immigrants established themselves and contributed to communities.

After all of this, employers are now required to fill out a US Citizenship and Immigration document, known as the I-9 form, for each employee. This requires government proof of a person’s ability to work in America. In turn, authentic social security numbers and state driver’s licenses are in demand.

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4. Plan of Action

Depending on what type of theft has taken place, you will need to determine your best course of action. For example, if your identity was stolen while you were patronizing a business, there are steps that need to be taken in order to resolve your identity theft. No Identity Theft offers five awesome tips for people who are affected by identity theft.

First off, the affected business should be personally contacted. So, what does that mean? No Identity Theft suggests that you should contact the company’s management or the fraud department and explain the current situation. Ask the fraud department to close, freeze and cancel the affected account. If you have been using the company’s current website, immediately change all of your online passwords, ensuring that the new passwords are strong and cannot be figured out. Next, contact all three credit bureaus and make sure you are on fraud alert. Doing this makes it harder for thieves to open more new accounts using your information. These alerts are free, can last 90 days, and can be renewed at some point.

If you are a business owner, it would be wise to also make note of anything you don’t recognize and to inform the police or the FTC. The FTC is a government agency that helps those affected by identity theft. Be sure to check all your records for any unfamiliar information. It would also be a great idea to create a free account with the FTC to start a recovery plan. Finally, file a police report that includes all the mentioned tips, because the more detailed the police report is, the more likely the police will build a case.

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Remember, the only one in charge of identity is the individual affected. If you don’t have a plan of action, it’s likely that things will get worse. If you are affected by identity theft, be sure to take advantage of these tips.

5. Prevention That Works

There are many different forms of fraud prevention. The problem is figuring out what works. The main thing to consider is that you should always keep a sharp eye on your personal matters. Try to find ways to ensure your personal life is always protected. You can do this by continuing to educate yourself on these matters. Many insurance agencies, credit card companies, and the main credit bureaus offer fraud prevention solutions. One way to keep yourself safe online is to never put your personal information online.

There are many ways to connect with people online, but have you ever wondered who could possibly be looking at your account information? Never assume that online information is private when you are online. Many times, hackers use personal data to track credit and to verify accounts and service transactions.

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It is also a good idea to purchase antivirus software which will keep your computer system safe. These programs can continually scan your computer for suspicious files and malware that can do damage to your computer. Also, learn to limit public wi-fi usage, because using public wi-fi can make you more susceptible to cyber criminal attack. Try to avoid internet usage at coffee shops while on a laptop or smartphone.

Finally, it is clear that the best methods are sometimes the hands-on ones. It has been proven that paper shredders and mailing your bills are ways to keep yourself safer. No Identity Theft’s website states that “88% of stolen identifying information comes from criminals going through the trash.” Are you beginning to understand and see a theme? This is one of many reasons people need to pay close attention to their overall and online surroundings.

6. Visual Charts

If words aren’t your thing, no worries. There are tons of online guides offering visual aids to make things simpler. Sometimes charts and statistics make more sense in the educational journey of learning about identity theft. These are great tools which will keep you from suffering from information overload.

Conclusion

You have nothing to lose by educating yourself about identity theft. This information can save you and others from having your identity stolen. I hope this will be a foundation that will help you stay safe in the long run.

Featured photo credit: Service Control/http://www.servicecontrol.com/ via servicecontrol.com

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Last Updated on June 8, 2018

10 Harsh But True Illustrations that Show Our Changed Society

10 Harsh But True Illustrations that Show Our Changed Society

Let’s face it.  We are living in a digital age, and there is absolutely no turning back. One of the biggest influences on society these days is social media. It affects us both positively and negatively. Social media was originally designed for people to share interesting facets of their lives with their friends, but it has become so much more than what it intended to be. It is now a medium for information to pass around the globe. In many cases, people first learn about current events through Twitter or Facebook before hearing about them from conventional news sources.

We also rely on technology for nearly everything we do. People these days seem as if they can’t go anywhere or do anything without their smartphones, tablets, or laptops. They need to be in constant contact with others via electronic devices.

However, there is also a downside to be too connected to social media and electronic devices. We are too dependent on them, which make us oblivious to what we are doing to ourselves. Being too connected can have a negative effect on our lives and the society as a whole. Here are 10 true illustrations that show how our society is negatively impacted because of the use of technology.

1. Facebook is eating away at your time.

Facebook is eating away your time

    How much time do you usually spend each day on Facebook or other social networking sites? Is it hindering your productivity? Do you find yourself wasting time to a point where you don’t even know where it goes? If the answer is yes, Facebook might have eaten away at your time.

    2. We’ve become “Likeaholics.”

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    Likeaholic

      When you are posting something on Facebook, are you doing it just to see how many of your friends will give it the proverbial thumbs up? This illustration shows that some people are treating “Likes” on Facebook as if it was a drug they needed to inject into their bloodstreams.

      3. Our electronics have priority over our lives.

      priorities

        Given a choice between your dying phone battery or you dying, which will you choose? In this case, the man in this illustration chose to charge his phone over to sustain his own life. As a society, we need to be more careful of our priorities.

        4. Our devices are ruining intimacy.

        lack of intimacy

          Have you and your loved one ever spent time together where each of you is on your phone instead of communicating face-to-face with each other? Has society reached the point where we can’t even be intimate with each other without being on our phones at the same time?

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          5. Families aren’t spending quality time together.

          mother baking

            Here is a mother making holiday cookies, but what are the kids doing? They are not making cookies with their mother. Instead, every one of them has their faces buried in their own electronic devices. Television used to be what parents use to babysit their kids. Now, it’s a tablet, phone, laptop or video game that does the job.

            6.  We’d rather record someone than help them.

            drowning

              A lot is happening in this illustration. A black man is drowning and asking for help. One person has a gun pointed at him. The other person has their iPhone pointed at him and is recording the scene, but is not interested to help this man.

              7. Society is sleeping, it’s sleeping its life away.

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              sleeping your life away

                Time is money. After we have wasted the long period of time on social media, we are losing the most valuable currency we have – our time in this world.

                8.  Despite all the technology we have, we still want what someone else has.

                wanting what someone else is having

                  There’s an old saying that goes, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” This illustration shows that despite all that we have, we are still not satisfied with our lives.

                  9. Sensationalism still sells.

                  free expression

                    With the information overload that exists today, the media still looks for sensationalism. Here’s a woman who feels she has something important to say, but the media only cares about her because she is naked. Would the news media still have microphones in front of her if she wasn’t standing there topless?

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                    10. In the end, with all of this, we are still killing the planet.

                    gun to mother earth

                      This last illustration argues that despite all of our technological gains, we are still polluting the earth as if we have a virtual gun pointed at Mother Nature. As we build bigger cities and higher technology, how much more damages can we continue to do before putting our lives at risk?

                      Featured photo credit: Michael Summers via flickr.com

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