Identity theft has become a global issue. It is an area of major concern. Identity theft is termed as a crime of the new millennium. However, the fact prevails that due to the revolution in Information Technology there are certain outcomes that have led to positive growth while others have become a matter of serious concern and identity… Read More »

Identity theft has become a global issue. It is an area of major concern. Identity theft is termed as a crime of the new millennium. However, the fact prevails that due to the revolution in Information Technology there are certain outcomes that have led to positive growth while others have become a matter of serious concern and identity theft is one of them. Is Identity theft escalating to alarming threats? How is it detrimental to society at large? How can it be dealt with? The issue invokes related questions that need to be addressed.

I. Introduction

Identity theft happens when somebody utilizes someone else’s personal information, similar to their name, identifying number, or credit card number, without their consent, to carry out extortion or different crimes. The term identity theft was coined in 1964.[1] Since that time, the meaning of identity theft has been statutorily characterized all through both the U.K. also, the United States as the theft of personally recognizable information. Identity theft intentionally utilizes another person’s identity as a strategy to acquire monetary benefits or get credit and other benefits, and maybe to cause other person’s loss or misfortune.

The person whose identity has been taken may suffer serious consequences,[2] especially if they are falsely held responsible for the perpetrator’s actions. Personally, recognizable information for the most part incorporates a person’s name, date of birth, driver’s license number, debit or credit card numbers, PINs, electronic marks, fingerprints, passwords, or whatever other information that can be utilized to get to a person’s financial resources.

Deciding the connection between information breaches and identity theft is testing, basically on the grounds that identity theft victims regularly don’t have the knowledge or idea how their personal information was stolen. As per a report made for the FTC, identity theft isn’t generally perceptible by the individual victims. Identity fraud is often but not always the result of identity theft. Somebody can take or misuse personal information without then committing identity theft utilizing the information about each person, for example, when a significant data breach happens. A US Government Accountability Office study established that “most breaches have not detected incidents of identity theft”.[3]

The report likewise warned that “the full degree to this is unknown”. A later unpublished study done by Carnegie Mellon University noticed that “Regularly, the reasons for identity theft isn’t known”, yet reported that another person concluded that “the likelihood of turning into a casualty to identity theft because of an information breach is … around just 2%”. For instance, in one of the biggest information penetrates which influenced more than 4,000,000 records, it brought about just around 1,800 examples of identity theft, as indicated by the organization whose systems were penetrated.

Identity theft is a booming modern crime as the present-day world is overly dependent on internet and globalisation has connected man to every kind of platform. With every activity being online, people are forced to merge their bank accounts and card details with the network. This is what gives edge to the identity thieves who misappropriate information and perform data breaches to extract monetary benefits. It is better to understand the shortcoming of the present-day internet age and share one’s personal information accordingly.

II. Prevention in Cyber Age

1. Prevention of Personal Frauds

  • Mandatory use of Passwords

This is the initial step a person should follow to shield himself from identity theft. Generally, individuals think setting up a secret phrase isn’t required or such a lot of work to accomplish in vain. Be that as it may, in this current circumstance, not utilizing passwords isn’t actually protected as cybercrime is expanding bit by bit.

A telephone without a secret word resembles a home without an entryway, anybody can access it. Thus, everybody should set up passwords for their telephone, PC, and all their monetary records to be protected from identity theft, and the secret key should be strong and capricious.[4]

  • Mix up your Passwords

Always try to set every password different because if every password is the same, the fraudster can easily obtain access to all your accounts with only one password. So, mixing up passwords can actually stop an identity thief from accessing your data. Passwords must not be your name or your birthday because they are easily predicted and one must change the password once in a while or anytime you feel your account is compromised.

  • Stay away from Shady Websites and Links

Everybody should keep away from obscure sites or any dubious glancing joins in messages or instant messages as they can be a snare of identity criminal. Fakes for the most part use sites that are like your monetary establishment, moneylender, bank or your credit card organization to gain admittance to your subtleties. Along these lines, nobody ought to at any point type their login credentials to new or dubious sites.[5]

  • Never Give Out Personal Information

Another way the fakes use is by calling individuals like credit card organizations or banks and giving a circumstance to ask your personal information. Truly, no association will at any point call you and request your personal information, for example, account number or PIN or anything. Thus, nobody should give their personal information via telephone to anybody.

  • Secure Documents with Personal Information

It is consistently a good thought to obliterate every one of the actual private records and proclamations which contain any personal or monetary information which can cause inconvenience later on. They can likewise use receipts to gather your personal information, so individuals should convey them home and discard them. [6]

2. How to Prevent Frauds in Business

Preventing fraud in business is very important because business affects the lives of many people. Unlike individuals, attacking a business can put livelihood in danger of many and their customers who are dependent on the company. So, there are certain ways through which people can prevent their business from fraud:

  • Switch to Digital Statements

In the present scenario, credit card bills, bank statements, confidential files, and other important documents can be used to attack the business. All these documents mostly come through the mail and to prevent the risk of stealing you can turn off the paperwork and switch to digital statements.

Although most businesses cannot switch to the paperless situation, rather they can change their bank and other financial procedures to paperless which would just take a few minutes and can completely help in closing the risk. And switching to paperless saves both time as well as money.

  • Invest in a Quality Shredder

It can be humorous but stealing from dustbins and dumpsters is actually happening around the globe as well in movies. People can easily end that risk by buying a high-quality shredder for their office to cut documents.

  • Build a Secure Filing System

Every firm or business has their important documents that need to be kept safe. These documents can be used to attack your business, customers, or employees, so these documents must be somewhere safe and only higher authorities have access to it.

  • Planned User Data Access

There must be multiple layers of system security for ensuring the safety of the company data. These data files must be accessed only by those who really need to and have the authority to do so. That is, everyone in the company must not have access to every file.

For daily use of computers, people must have their own login credentials which they can not share with anyone, also the user-id shall have access to a particular system.

3. Prevention of Bank Frauds

  • Multifaceted Authentication

This can be the best approach in the security structure. This multifaceted authentication helps as there will be a progression of passwords or questions which will help in shielding the important information from fraud. Only the higher authorities will know the passwords, which will remove the odds of fraud in the bank[7]

  • Monitor Transactions

The bank should monitor every one of the transactions and should put up restrictions in the centralized server PC which will recognize anything which is dubious in nature.

  • Controlling Transactions

Controlling transactions with various individuals can help the situation. It means, for each transaction, one person starts the transaction, someone else approves it, and the third person really finishes the transaction. Absence of staff isn’t an issue as the banks can set up Automated Clearing House (ACH) transactions which can affirm the sending and receiving of transactions through calls.[8]

  • Raise Fraud Awareness

Teaching clients about fraud is vital as this issue is expanding. Assisting clients with understanding the current circumstance and give answers to their inquiries.

  • Digital Banking

Empowering clients towards digital Banking and assisting them with understanding the elements of computerized banking.

4. How to Prevent Frauds in Social Media

There are certain ways people can prevent frauds in Social Media:[9]

  • Use every security setting provided by media platforms. They can be anything like captcha puzzles, privacy settings, or security settings. Everything is helping in protecting the account.
  • Never share login credentials with anyone, not even with the people you trust. Even they can make you vulnerable while using your account.
  • Be aware of every piece of information you share and do not share any personal or highly sensitive information on your social media.
  • Never reuse your passwords. Always set a new password for every account.
  • Always add known people.

III. Conclusion

As the number of frauds and cyber-related crimes is increasing, the government is coping up with defining rules and regulations to protect the interest of the people and helping them against any mishappening on the internet. Certain laws are made to protect ‘sensitive personal data’ through ‘data protection and privacy policy’.

[1] “Oxford English Dictionary online”. Oxford University Press. September 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2010.

[2] Drew Armstrong (13 September 2017). “My Three Years in Identity Theft Hell”. Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 19 September 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2017.

[3] “Data Breaches Are Frequent, but Evidence of Resulting Identity Theft Is Limited; However, the Full Extent Is Unknown” (PDF). Highlights of GAO-07-737, a report to congressional requesters. Retrieved 22 September 2010.

[4] “Identity Theft Resource Center website”.

[5] Erika Harrell, Ph.D. and Lynn Langton, Ph.D., BJS Statisticians, Victims of Identity Theft, 2012, Available Here

[6] Official Website, World Privacy Forum, Available Here

[7] “Get to Know These Common Types of ID Theft”. iGrad. Retrieved 29 September 2016.

[8] “Identity Theft; Tax and Financial Consideration”.

[9] Internet Identity Theft – A Tragedy for Victims Archived 22 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Software and Information Industry Association. Retrieved 30 June 2006.

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Updated On 14 Jun 2021 2:47 AM GMT
Antariksh Anant

Antariksh Anant

Antariksh is a Law student at RGNUL - Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law Patiala, Punjab, India.

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