Causes Of Identity Theft Essay

Throughout the years, identity theft has become extremely prevalent and has affected many people. It’s important for everyone to know why identity theft began and the importance of it. There are many causes of identity theft that lead to negative effects. Identity theft is a serious problem that should not be taken lightly. Many people have gotten their wallet stolen or their purse and this is very common. Often times, people put their information on the internet when they do not know exactly who this information is going to. There are thousands of people out there who are out to get your money and/or identity.

The things we frequently wonder are why these people take all our information and money. We do not fully understand the causes of all these problems. Identity Theft and Assumptions Deterrence Act came into effect in October of 1982 which is what officially made identity theft considered crime (Saunders 671). This was about when the problem began. It is important to understand the effects of identity theft, whether long or short term. According to Kimberly Rotter, who writes in an article titled, “The Staggering Cost of Identity Theft in the U. S. she states “The overall costs of identity theft to the American economy is estimated to reach $100 billion annually, and the cost globally is easily in the hundreds of billions of dollars” (Rotter).

This number has increased throughout the years and will continue to increase until people become educated as well as aware of what identity theft is and how it works. Due to hackers, the enhancements in technology, and the carelessness of internet users, identity theft remains an important problem causing people to gain financial burdens as well as emotional suffering.

Identity theft’s big issue focuses primarily on hackers and why they are involved with taking people’s money. Hackers are people who hack into other people’s computers or electronic devices so they can take control over their things. A book titled Net Crimes and Misdemeanors written by J. A. Hitchcock takes us through many different aspects of how people take and control our things. She explains to us “When you’re connected to the internet, your computer is part of a worldwide network and anyone can try to connect to your system.

The best way to describe it is by contrasting it to your television, a one-way communication mechanism” (Hitchcock 237). Hackers can reach any personal information located on an individual’s computer. Any accounts or credit card numbers in the system, they can get ahold of. We use many internet softwares today that can help prevent hackers, but not all the time. Hackers are extremely knowledgeable with computers and can find their way in. Hitchcock also gives us a little background information on when many viruses and softwares were introduced.

She states, “…there was a good enough market for a security suite that included a personal firewall and antivirus capability. They were right. When NIS was introduced in December 1999, the U. S. retail market for internet security software grew more than 140 percent” (Hitchcock 236). Throughout the years, many software updates came out to help protect people and their information. The problem is that the more we continue to update and make new antiviruses, the more educated and aware hackers become. Hackers are a big reason why identity theft still continues to be a problem today.

The enhancement of technology throughout the years has played a huge role in the increase of identity theft. The more we improve technology, the more ways people will find to get hold of someone’s information online. In an article titled, “Counteracting Identity Fraud in the Information Age: The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act” written by Kurt M. Saunders, he writes, “Historically, identity thieves have accomplished their crimes through simple means-pickpocketing wallets, stealing pre-approved credit applications from mailboxes, or raiding trash dumpsters for discarded receipts and files.

Recently, more sophisticated schemes are gaining popularity (Saunders 4). The enhancements of technology has made stealing one’s identity much easier. Technology gives these people many ways to hack into computers, iPhones, and iPads. With all these new technological inventions we have been presented with, it makes us not only a bigger target, but makes everything more dangerous. People now keep passwords, pin numbers, or even their social security in their phones so they will have it with them wherever, but when somebody easily grabs the phone, they can instantly access all of that information.

Saunders tells us, “With the onset of the information age, the fundamental ability to protect one’s personal information and identity is now more in jeopardy than ever. The widespread use of computer databases and the Internet to store and transmit information have made identity theft even easier to perpetrate” (Saunders 16). The more we continue to invent more technological ideas and objects, the more dangerous it is for people to steal from you. Technology has played a big role in causing identity theft to continue increasing.

As the use of technology increases, people tend to be more careless with the internet which leads to higher risk of stolen identity. People often trust the internet too much when it comes to buying things or sending out their personal information. One does not take into account that there are hackers waiting to scam you for all your money and information. IN an article titled, “Information Security Breaches and the Threat to Consumers” written by Fred H. Cate, he states, “Consumers often end up unwittingly providing thieves with access to sensitive data by failing to secure their own data, by responding to fraud schemes, such as phishing and pharming, and by careless use of their personal information” (Cate 4).

In other words, people tend to trust that what they put on the internet, however there are people who are trying to scam you for your money. People should be more aware and less careless about what they are sending through the internet and to who they are sending it to. While we continue to be careless with our information, we continue to see many crimes involving identity theft.

Cate writes, “The vulnerability of unsecured personal data and the threat of identity-based frauds nevertheless continue to grow and evolve as perpetrators become more sophisticated in how they seek to obtain and exploit personal information” (Cate 2). It makes it easy for hackers to catch and use one’s personal information when the individual continues to be careless with their information and unaware of where they are sending this information. Identity theft is a big problem that is caused because of how and where we decided to give our information out.