The Underworld of Hackers and Identity Theft

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In many cases, people have their identity stolen because they lost their identification and a criminal picked it up.

In many cases, people have their identity stolen because they lost their identification and a criminal picked it up. However, there are instances of identity theft that involve hackers that gain access to the identities of many consumers who have their information registered online with  businesses.

There are organizations of criminals that have hackers within their own organization, outsource the hacking to a young savvy student, or they make purchases from hackers who have already stolen the information. Identity theft prevention is becoming a reality for many businesses and consumers.

Data breaches are more common as a result of computer hacking and the amount of personal information stolen online is increasing. In America, it is estimated that over 43 million people have been affected by hacking within the last year. Some of the biggest names in business have experienced loss in data such as BJ’s, Ralph Lauren, and DSW. There are companies such as ID Cuffs who offer identity theft prevention services that protect consumers from being victims of data breaches.

Where Information Goes When a Data Breach Happens

There are underground networks of websites where criminals everywhere can buy and sell stolen information for profit. Some of these data networks have accumulated thousands of members and have made millions of dollars trading personal identities and credit card numbers. Many of these sites have set up websites that are sold to criminals that help them begin phishing for information with emails that have already been customized for them.

Hacking used to be primarily for the excitement or to receive recognition amongst a community of other hackers. As our society continues to change into a virtual environment, these people are in it for the big money associated with it. Because of this, punishment for such actions are becoming much more harsh and strict. The Internet laws were unclear on many issues several years ago, but as time goes on, legislation has enacted laws to crack down on cyber criminals. Therefore they will mostly target high-value targets to make it worth their while. This doesn’t mean that small businesses are in the free-and-clear, but they are at less risk of being targeted.

How to Stop Hacking and Identity Theft

  • Utilize identity theft protection resources such as IDCuffs.com
  • Be sure to have firewalls installed on your personal and business computers.
  • Make sure your virus protection is updated regularly.
  • Run scans on your computer on a consistent basis for viruses and spyware.
  • Surf the web with caution: don’t enter sites and emails that look suspicious.
  • Set restrictions in the computer’s browser settings to limit access to harmful websites.
  • Business owners with a website can check out Website Hacking and Identity Theft for tips on how to protect your site from being hacked.
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