Expository Essay on Identity Theft in the Information Age

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  2
Wordcount:  515 Words
Date:  2022-02-12


Identity theft has become one of the most prominent problems of the 21st century due to the digitization of most process because of advances in technology. Personal identity takes many forms such as social identity, medical identity, insurance identity, and social security identity among others. Most cases of identity theft are financially motivated. According to an identity theft study by Javelin Strategy and Research (2017), $16 billion was obtained irregularly in the United States in 2016 alone. This is evidence that as long as a person's personal information is held in company databases or social networking servers, identity theft is inevitable. While the digitization of processes has improved the quality and speed of services and transactions, user data is never adequately protected, and hackers targeting a person's insurance, social security, or bank accounts often find loopholes in organization systems that give them a gateway to execute their crime.

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The best way to protect oneself from identity theft is to take stringent measures to protect personal information such as PINs, passwords, usernames, and social security number. Often, digital systems users ignore password construction instructions, opting for publicly available information such as birth dates (Daigle, 2018). This makes one an easy target for criminals. To protect oneself from identity theft, it is also recommended that one shred printed receipts and statements to protect information such as bank account balances and insurance entitlements. Further, it is advisable to conduct regular digital accounts reviews to check for irregular activity that indicates an imminent or ongoing attack. Caution should also be exercised on social networking sites, which have become a significant facilitator of identity theft crimes. For example, a person posting their personal information such as bank statements (to get social approval) on social media may draw the attention of criminals.

Entities collecting personal data for various purposes such as maintaining employee records should ensure that information stored on organization servers and databases is appropriately encrypted, with the encryption level varying for highly classified data, medium classified and regular classified information. The companies should also enforce a minimum access policy, ensuring that systems administrators and employees can only access the information relevant to them.

The first step to rebuilding one's life after identity theft is closing down affected channels, such as bank accounts, to avoid a reoccurrence. Next, victims should obtain a credit report to know their financial position and to know if any significant loans were taken in their name during the identity theft attack. The theft should also be reported to authorities for a follow up on the perpetrators, and finally, the victim should review all their access details and accounts. If the identity theft was social, the best way forward is to issue a personal statement as to what occurred and assure colleagues, family and the society that any interactions conducted during the identity theft period were fraudulent.


Daigle, L.E. (2018). Victimology: A text/reader (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE

Javelin Strategy & Research. (2017, February 1). Identity fraud hits a record high with 15.4 Million U.S. victims in 2016. Javelin. Retrieved from www.javelinstrategy.com/press-release/identity-fraud-hits-record-high-154-million-us-victims-2016-16-percent-according-new.

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Expository Essay on Identity Theft in the Information Age. (2022, Feb 12). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/identity-theft-in-the-information-age

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