|Newsletter Archives||The Campaign Tool Chest|
|Home Auctions By State||Campaigner's Bookstore|
How Does Identity Theft Occur?
No matter how careful you think you are when it comes to who gets access to your personal information, identity thieves utilize a number of techniques to gain access to your most private information. Increasingly, criminals are finding all the information they need on state and local government Websites. In many cases criminals find everything they need to hijack your life by simply perusing so-called Public Records on the county website.
That's right - the entire world
- meaning anyone, anywhere with computer access can easily find your name,
address, photos of your home, maiden names,
social security numbers,
credit and bank numbers in documents carelessly published online by
officials you elected to preserve and protect your data. Almost every
document the county holds on you contains information criminals can use.
Some documents , like divorce and probate, list complete inventories of
your home, assets, credit cards, who got what in the divorce and
where the kids are going this weekend - all courtesy of your local land
registry. But you are not as helpless as some would have you believe.
Legislators, attorneys and security services are beginning to offer
effective laws and strategies that put your identity out of reach of
The Need to Protect Your Good Name
It is evident there is a need to protect individuals regarding identity theft and fraud. A slew of credit monitoring and protection products promise to notify the subscriber when there has been a change in their credit score or when there appears to be suspicious activity with one of their accounts. The majority of these services are reselling credit monitoring services, which provide no preventative features. Currently, there are over 70 identity theft services offered on the market and the number is growing. But credit monitoring does nothing to repair the damage caused by identity theft and like most identity theft services goes into effect only after an individualís identity has been compromised and is available on the black market.
According to a recent independent study by Javelin Research, "The types of credit monitoring services offered by various creditors and the credit scoreing agencies -simply don't work. Their services are designed to raise profits for the credit industry and have very little effectiveness, if any, in guarding our identities."
One identity theft prevention company has taken a proactive approach by acting before the thieves can use the stolen data. LifeLock does this by placing fraud alerts on all your accounts thus rendering the stolen data useless to anyone except you.
The Javelin study showed, "To prevent Identity theft, fraud alerts clearly trump credit monitoring."
The system works by only allowing the consumer who has placed the alerts the authority to utilize his or her own credit. The alerts ensure that if anyone tries to do anything with your credit score, such as get new credit, change your address, expand credit lines, open a checking account, get insurance, utilities, or anything else, the financial institution must call you directly for your approval before anything happens.
As far as can be determined,
LifeLock is the only data security company to take this common sense
approach. Todd Davis, the company's CEO is so confident the system
works that he publishes his own Social Security number on the company
website and in television advertisements. To learn why he is so confident
about the LifeLock system Click