Digital technologies give people many opportunities to communicate with each other, but at the same time, they create many new hidden threats. For example, one of the most frightening crimes of modern society is identity theft. This term means illegal use of information about a person for personal gain of different criminals (Priganc, 2008). Certainly, it is much simpler to steal personal data in the Internet with the help of different hacking techniques. Therefore, it is necessary to protect private information, especially the one published in the Internet. Identity theft is considered one of the most serious crimes nowadays, and its consequences are highly adverse for any person.
Unfortunately, cases of identity theft occur more often than you can expect. Everybody knows that the Internet is full of different traps, and global statistics is just another proof that threat is too close to neglect protection. Statistical surveys show that general state of this question leaves much to be desired (DiGangi, 2013). Millions of dollars were stolen from bank accounts hacked by different criminals all over the world; hence, identity theft can deprive individuals of their money. Moreover, identity theft can spoil one’s credit history because fraudsters coming in possession of an individual’s bank data can use your credit cards to make unauthorized purchases. Further on, it will be very difficult to prove the fact of identity theft and explain it to different banks, which again restates the need for paying more attention to digital protection.
Another important point is that identity thefts are planned by well-prepared people; hackers are mostly experienced programming specialists and are one step ahead (Turner, 2016). Therefore, it is very difficult to determine their real physical location or find another information about them. Even if you go to the police, it is not a guarantee that criminals will be punished. Legislative acts concerning cyber-attacks looks unfinished from the point of view of the procedural code. Certainly, the main point is that such crimes are very difficult to establish. Therefore, if you do not want to be helpless in this situation, use all possible variants of protection; nobody can guarantee that your personal information and finance will be returned once the identity theft takes place, and after the crime, individuals usually feel helpless and feel the dramatic consequences of theft for many months and even years to come.
Identity theft is a very serious crime not only because your money can be stolen or a criminal can cover tracks of cyber-attack easily; the consequences of identity theft influence a victim’s psychological state as well and may cause different problems. The fact that someone has got access to an individual’s personal data and knows everything about him or her is a serious cause of constant stress, let alone the fear to remain without funds carefully reserved for children’s education or for retirement. Finally, an identity theft allows the hacker to access the victim’s health records, to apply for some services from his or her behalf, and even commit crimes with the victim’s documents, which makes the latter liable for all those issues and leads to living in a constant fear, not knowing what hackers will do with the private information and how they will use it in their selfish criminal interests (Information Resources Management Association, 2016).
Thus, as one can see from the presented evidence, identity theft is reasonably considered one of the most difficult criminal offenses to prove to solve. This happens due to fast development of software used by hackers, but there are some workable, effective means of self-protection to be used by the public to avoid theft and devastating consequences connected with it. It is imperative for people to learn basic digital literacy and rules for securing their data in the digital world, so that the theft does not occur to them and they do not lose privacy and funds because of hacking activities.
DiGangi, C. (2013). These identity theft statistics are even scarier than you’d expect. AOL. Retrieved from https://www.aol.com/article/finance/2013/12/31/scariest-identity-theft-statistics/20797483/
Information Resources Management Association. (2016). Identity theft: breakthroughs in research and practice. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
Priganc, M. A. (2008). Identity theft: the personal guide. New York, NY: Lulu.com.
Turner, M. F. (2016). The young adult’s guide to identity theft: a step-by-step guide to stopping scammers. Ocala, FL: Atlantic Publishing Company.