Protecting your identity should be as easy as flipping a switch…
Identity Theft – a definition:
“Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information, like your
name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit
fraud or other crimes.”
– US Federal Trade Commission
The advent of the information age, while enriching our lives in so many ways, has also brought with it an unprecedented proliferation of personal data exchange which unfortunately, dramatically increases each individual’s potential exposure to identity fraud. In this case the math is simple – the more of your information that’s out there, the greater the chances that that information may fall into the wrong hands.
Impossible to keep track of…
It is virtually impossible to know exactly where all of our sensitive personal information resides or who might have access to it at any given moment. Innumerable consumer databases, populated by information exchanged by commercial enterprises interested in soliciting new business may contain information which could be used to devastating effect by an identity thief. In the public sector as well, personal information on individuals may be found in databases maintained by official bodies at every level of government. To make matters worse (from an identity theft standpoint), this information, even in large volumes, is becoming ever more portable. Large databases containing sensitive information on individuals often reside on laptops or portable data storage devices which in turn, sometimes “disappear”.
So what recourse does one have?
Most of those victimized by an identity thief face a long and often uphill struggle to recoup their monetary losses, salvage their credit, and/or clear their good name. At present, most identity fraud counter-measures are merely reactive as opposed to proactive. Most solutions rest on the hopes of finding out about the compromise of identity information as soon as possible after the fact, so that damage control can be made easier.
Some positive steps…
In the US, many states have enacted legislation enabling the consumer to “freeze” credit assets. But while this is a step in the right direction, each state nevertheless has its own set of associated rules and prohibitive fees which make this option less than ideal as a long-term solution. Another ID fraud counter-measure involves placing a fraud alert on your identity assets. This solution rests on the premise that you will be notified by a credit monitoring service for verification each time an attempt is made to conduct a transaction using the designated asset. In this scenario the integrity of your identity asset information is dependent upon a number of factors:
- Can you rely upon a third-party monitoring service to
make the attempt to contact you every time a
transaction is in question?
- How persistent will they be in the event that you are
not immediately available? Will the transaction in
question actually be suspended for as long as it takes
to reach you?
- What is the margin of error? Can you be confident
that legitimate transactions won’t be inadvertently
suspended as the third-party monitoring service
attempts to contact you?
- How much time do you really want to spend
communicating with a third-party monitoring service?
What you may not realize…
By offering such credit monitoring and remediation services, consumer reporting agencies and credit card providers profit from the fear and uncertainty generated by identity fraud. Thus they have been slow to adopt personal identity management technology such as iDovos, because they do not view it as being within their immediate interests to see the power of identity management leveraged into the hands of the individual consumer.
Moreover, many asset providers do not view identity fraud as a serious threat because any losses incurred due to such fraudulent activity can simply be rolled back into asset- associated charges, so that the blow is ultimately absorbed by you, the individual.
Why shouldn’t you be the first and final authority over your own identity assets?
Why should you have to rely upon a third-party service to watch your back for you? You should be able to exercise pinpoint access control over your own identity assets anytime, any place with just a mouse-click or a phone call. It should be just that easy. Control of identity asset information should be leveraged into the hands of the individual, and iDovos is the tool which makes that possible.