Introduction Identity theft is of rising concern for people in the United States that was estimated to cost Americans 1.52 billion dollars in 2012. According to OECD, identity theft occurs when a party acquires, transfers, posses or used personal information of a natural or legal person in an unauthorized manner, with the intent to commit, or in connection with, fraud or other crimes (OECD). Identity thieves therefore indiscriminately act to jeopardize security of individuals or institutions from every background. Whether the target is a business, corporations, or a government institution, online identity theft debilitates people’s trust to using online form safely.
People have become vulnerable to online hackers as a result of the technological advancement. The great progress of computer technology in the past decades created a cyber commercial environment that requires people to provide personal information to conduct transactions. Consequently, online identity thieves are able to exploit weaknesses they find in computer networks or systems of any organization. There are many ways perpetrators obtain people’s information illegally online while the most commonly used is through malware, spam, phishing, and hacking. Hacking, in particular, attracts savvy individuals to participate in accordance for political or financial gain while others simply undertake the act as a challenge. Wrongdoers are successful as long as they master basic computer skills necessary to breach into insecure networks.
Several government and organizational bodies have acted in efforts to mitigate the issue. Previous improvements attempted to address the problem have put forth principles intended to strengthen frameworks to deter fraud. Other principles have also served to fight online identity theft by suggesting ways to solidify frameworks to better protect data networks and in extending awareness programs for people. The purpose of this paper is to analyze standards practiced in the past, provide enhancements to previous principles, and recommend suited precautionary steps to prevent such theft.
The Problems of Identity Theft Approximately 15 million United States residents have their identities used fraudulently each year with financial losses totaling upwards of $50 billion, according to identitytheift.info. There are a number of issues contributing to the growth of the unlawful act of stealing another individual’s