Increase in Identity Theft Reports

by Eric Hartwell - Date: 2007-01-24 - Word Count: 259 Share This!

McAfee reports a dramatic increase in computer security breaches leading to the loss, or potential loss, of sensitive personal data. Research suggests that the numbers of key loggers, for example, has increased two and a half times in just over two years.

What is a key logger? This is code that is put onto your computer without your knowledge and consent, and that tracks and records your keystrokes - and that means ALL keystrokes including your personal data, financial details and passwords. It is powerful software designed with malicious intent - to steal from you.

You can add to this the increase in the number of "phishing" and an increasing number of "pharming" alerts, mainly conducted via email scams.

Identity theft is not benign and exerts a powerful and economically significant burden amongst businesses and individuals throughout the world. In the US, the annual cost to the overall economy is a staggering $50 billion and at least $3.2 billion is lost in the UK each year. Other countries have similar tales of woe, with the most prosperous nations being victims of more concentrated targeting.

Everyone is a potential victim. No longer can it be assumed that it is a crime that someone else falls victim to. The figures speak for themselves but disguise the personal devastation faced by identity theft victims.

But there are methods to reduce the risk - many of them very simple, straightforward and sensible. McAfee provides a sensible guide in the form of "tips" to help us avoid being potential victims. Developing an increased awareness, according to McAfee, is the best first policy.

Related Tags: identity theft, identity crime

For further information and resources on identity theft, internet crime and online security visit the New Identity Theft website operated by Eric Hartwell.

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