Why the Internet Makes Identity Theft So Easy

identity theft
Identity theft is much easier than you might imagine

We humans being the most social of animals leads us to constantly talk about ourselves (some more than others, some much, much more) no matter how mundane or trivial the actual subject can be. New technology such as the internet has only facilitated this urge to speak about ourselves even more in the form of social networking sites.

In a previous post here at vodka/soda we discussed some of the dangers of social networking sites on the internet. One of the most costly dangers is identity theft, a theft made much easier by the amount of personal information available about ourselves and made available by ourselves (and websites) on the web.

Herbert H. Thompson, a professor of computer science and a software developer, shows us how easy it is to steal a person’s identity just by mining data on the internet in: How I Stole Someone’s Identity. Here’s a quote from the article:

I asked some of my acquaintances, people I know only casually, if with their permission and under their supervision I could break into their online banking accounts. After a few uncomfortable pauses, some agreed. The goal was simple: get into their online banking account by using information about them, their hobbies, their families and their lives freely available online. To be clear, this isn’t hacking or exploiting vulnerabilities, instead it’s mining the Internet for nuggets of personal data.


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