UBP blog

03/01/2010

From phishing, to spyware to network snooping, how identity thieves get your information online and what you can do to stop them

As the Internet evolves and identity theft criminals get more and more tech-savvy, it isn’t any wonder the number of identity theft crimes has skyrocketed over the past few years.  

To keep your personal information safe online, you’ll need to first know the most common methods thieves use to collect your information. That way, you can figure out what actions you’ll need to take to stop them.

These are:

  1. Phishing: Phishing happens when a thief sends out an email under the guise of a legitimate company. The email in question will generally contain links to a very legitimate-looking website. Once the victim arrives at the website, he or she will be asked to give a bank account number, credit card number or other piece of personal data.
  2. Spyware: Spyware is software that collects personal data from individuals’ own computers without them even knowing it. It infects their computers when they visit certain websites or open email attachments from unknown senders. Also, anyone with manual access to computers can install spyware on them.
  3. Fraudulent e-commerce sites: Identity thieves often set up fraudulent e-commerce sites for goods they advertise through spam email blasts or on price comparison websites. When individuals place orders on these sites, identity thieves are able to capture their names, addresses, credit card numbers and other information.
  4. Wireless network snooping: Tech-savvy identity thieves use this technique to connect to unsecured wireless networks and steal information from computer files or information that’s en-route from sender to its final destination.

Massachusetts ID theft law compliance deadline is today:

Any entity that employs and/or does business with Massachusetts residents must be in full compliance today, March 1, with our nation’s toughest ID theft law to date—Standards for the Protection of Personal Information of Residents of the Commonwealth (201 CMR 17.00).

Fines for noncompliance are steep and auditors from the MA Attorney General’s office will be coming any day now, are you prepared to show your compliance or face the facts?

Now is not the time for second guessing, call us now at 617-859-1777 and schedule your free 30 minute compliance overview in partnership with Foley and Foley law firm of Massachusetts.

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