Personally Identifiable Information Essay

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Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is information that can be used on its own or with another piece of information such as a name, date of birth, social security number, credit card number, drivers license, genetic information or mothers maiden name that allows a person to locate or identify an individual. Once a thief has this uniquely identifiable information, they can use it to perform fraud by applying for credit cards, loans, make fake ID’s and other illegal activities with another persons information without their knowledge. “In 2012, more than 12 million people became victims of identity theft and fraud, with an estimated total of $21 billion losses for the year alone” (Joy Mali n.d) For a person or an organization to be able…show more content…
Malware is malicious software, which means once a person clicks on a link, it immediately downloads and allows thieves to have access to personal information on a computer. Spyware allows thieves to track the keystrokes on a computer to gain data such as passwords to access bank information or acquire PII to commit fraud. It is also advisable to regularly check credit reports to look out for suspicious activity because a thief can obtain personal information, open up a new credit card and the victim may never find out their credit score is being affected. Thieves can also use personal information to forge documents such a passports and birth certificates for illegal immigrants or to abuse the government benefits. In conclusion, with the majority of organizations and individuals using the Internet to store information online, there is a lot of data that can be possibly become uncovered by thieves and used in malicious ways. There are countless methods thieves target their victims therefore it is paramount for individuals and organizations to learn the potential risks involved in handling PII and the ways to combat breeches in their technological security. It is important to be vigilant in what information is shared online and control who has access to it to guard against identity

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