Identity Theft as a Social Problem in America

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Introduction

Former US President, Bill Clinton once said that technology is almost magical (Ryan, 303). The necessities of our lives have made it paramount that we make inventions that could facilitate our comfort and existence over time, from the stone ages to the modern times. Therefore tools have always and will always be a fundamental aspect of our lives. It is no wonder that technology has improved over the years making our lives safer, easier and more comfortable. However, this magic of technology has also come with its shortcomings one of the major cons being the threat that it posses not only to us as individuals but also to the information that we consider private.

Safety of Information

Information systems have been established to facilitate the transfer of information across several networks in a safe, orderly and secure manner. Moreover, most organizations have stored information about their clients in large databases: hospitals have information about their patients, businesses hold information about their customers, and government institutions hold information about their citizens. Most of these are basically personal information that would be considered private and any access by anybody who lacks the authority would be risky. This type of information is usually exposed to great risk especially if accessed by malicious or dishonest people. With the advent of new technology, this risk is even greater. Identity theft has increasingly become a norm that is threatening the fabric of the American society.

This type of theft is where a person obtains another individual’s information without any authority or their consent so as to use this information for an illegal purpose or acquisition of their property or any other benefits that may accrue to the actual person. This information may also be used to enter into fraudulent transactions in the pretext that the person holding that information is the individual he purports to be.

This information may include “social security numbers, credit card and bank account numbers, user-names, passwords, and medical records” (Douglas, Burgess, & Burgess, 392). This stolen information can be used for such illegal activities as opening an account mostly a credit account, taking loans or transferring funds, all in the victims name and the information that has been collected.

One of the major strategies that are used by these thieves and especially con artists is referred to as spoofing. This occurs over the internet where the person redirects a web link to a fake address that mirrors the real site to allow them to process the user or client’s order.  When the client enters the details that have been requested, the information is stolen as he thinks he is entering it in the right website (Laudon, 236).

Another effective trick that the thieves use is called social engineering.............


Type: Essay || Words: 937 Rating || Excellent

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