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There are a lot of movies out there that portray what a powerful criminal tool the internet is.  Most of these give you an idea about hackers stealing document files online. But did you know that identity theft can happen on the internet as well?

In today’s world, the internet has become a haven for scam-artists and criminals. Most of these criminals gain access to passwords, personal data, and identifying information in order to gain access to the individual’s assets.

Most of this information can be acquired via different forms of spam email. Another method thieves use to get your information is by getting the victim to sign up on a website that promises him/her profits. This permits the criminal to secretly gather your information. Later on, they use it to impersonate the victim.

But criminals aren’t simply looking for your bank account number or social security number.  They try to check about your lifestyle as well. This makes them possible to do more spying.

But how does all of this occur?

Cookies play an vital role. The cookie is a piece of text which the web server leaves on your computer to allow you to easily access data in the future. Cookies have data about the user’s personal preferences. It can also carry information about  the email sent, which sites the user has visited, and even which advertisements the user has clicked on.

Most cookies are risk-free, but criminals use the cookie as a tracking device. Not only that, they use it to get precious personal information. A cookie also gives criminals an idea  in which of your areas of interest they should perpetrate the swindle.

Most internet thieves use software to get link to public data records. Out of public records, the thief can get information like the victim’s date of birth, social security number,  their surname, maiden name, address, and more.

Aside from public record catalogues, most of the thieves use web-links. They just type in the Social Security number to get the data they need. The internet links them to a search engine, which, according to recent information, has about 95 identity sites. Basically, the criminal can just click on the person’s data and all their personal information will pop up.

Some criminals generate fake websites. If the viewer of one of these websites subscribes, and enters his or her personal information, all of that personal data then falls into the hands of the crook.

Beware — any machine in a public place is distributed to numerous users. When you buy online, the website will leave a tracking cookie on your computer. If someone discovers that information on the internet, he or she could try to acquire something from the store on your account.

There are other hackers that utilize encryption software. This software can be manipulated to mix credit card numbers. This allows the crook to figure out your number.

Keep in mind that sending your personal identification number to an online store is not completely secured. The only time encryption occurs is when the viewer uses a secure shopping site. If it is encrypted, the site will illustrate a padlock icon in the lower corner of the web browser.

Most internet identity theft criminals want to have access to someone’s private account. Most of them intend to begin spending money and take the identity to make new purchases.

For example, many of the criminals have poor credit and do not have the capacity to take out a loan.  Because of this, they acquire someone else’s account to use in an internet transaction.

With the beginning of this internet fraud, identity theft has become a profitable business. Criminals, scam-artists and  have easier and quicker access to classified informatioin around the globe.

In order to stop this from happening to you, you should be very careful transacting business on the web. Look for the padlock sign in the bottom corner of your browser before hitting the “checkout” button.

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