Online Security Weaknesses and Their Link to Identity Theft Incidents

 Posted on June 13, 2017 in Identity Theft

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal law, Illinois criminal lawyer,In today’s technology-driven world, it comes as no surprise that a majority of identity theft crimes stem from our use of the internet, laptops, and other communicative devices. We keep an overwhelming amount of personal information on such devices, making identity theft opportunities all too easily accessible to those looking to take advantage at any given moment. The forms of identity theft crimes committed on a daily basis are vast and plentiful, as are the mediums through which they take place.

Personal Technology Weak Spots

If you or someone you know has been accused of being involved in an identity-theft related crime, there is a good chance the claim was prompted by an illegal breach of personal information, derived from an insecure technological source. There are a number of unsecured technological devices, networks, and online scams that are often the source of stolen personal information, including the following:

Old computers and mobile phones - Sensitive identification information is commonly retrieved from computers and mobile phones that have not properly been disposed of. Hard drives store an enormous amount of financial information, keeping record of everything from passwords and account numbers to medical information and tax return information. When someone fails to wipe or clean the hard drive with a special program or professional assistance, their device wise open and extremely vulnerable for identity theft activity.

P2P file-sharing networks - Peer-to-peer networks are wonderful tools for sharing files, such as music and games, but they are also responsible for a lot of identity theft activity, due to the nature of the information they share. The software used for these networks connects one individual’s computer to other computers that use the same software, often giving strangers access to sensitive personal information. Due to security incidents with such software, some users mistakenly download pirated material, pornography, and dangerous malware.

Email scams - The Federal Trade Commision (FTC) reports a variety of email-related scams that are commonly used to retrieve sensitive personal information for identity theft purposes. Among them are phishing messages, tech support and dating scams, and falsely advertised “free” security scans, which are all actually malicious in intent. Phishing messages are especially prevalent, which request personal information from an internet user typically under the guise of a supposed security breach. These emails prompt users to access a special link where they are then asked to provide a password, as well as other identifying information.

Any time online security is compromised in some way, users are vulnerable to a whole host of fraud crimes that can result in the theft of their identity. These kinds of crimes are often very damaging and can take a significant amount of time to repair, especially on behalf of individuals who must defend their reputation or their innocence. If you have been involved in an identity-theft related crime or feel you have been wrongly accused, it is important to talk with a competent Chicago federal criminal lawyer as soon as possible, as your rights and reputation are on the line. Call the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney today at 312-629-0669 for your personal consultation.


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