How High-Tech Theft Protection Can Keep You Safe

These High-Tech Solutions Can Prohibit Crooks From Stealing Your Information

A female using a cell phone for transportation.
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Identity theft protection is a hot topic today, and the high-tech community is working double-time to help protect us. Some of these solutions are modifications of things we’re already familiar with, like virtual credit cards (V-Cards), RFID chips and using your cell phone as a weapon in the identity theft battle. Others, such as the iWallet and biometrics, may turn into an entire industry as they become more commonly used.

However you look at it, the marriage of identity theft protection and technology may become a highly profitable partnership in the next decade.

Biometrics

They say everybody has a unique fingerprint. In fact, the fingerprints on someone’s hands are not even the same from finger to finger. Law enforcement has been using this fact for so long that the fingerprint has become the symbol of a clue. Today, the fingerprint has become a method of positive identification, proving you are who you say you are. So have other biological identifiers, like speech patterns and facial structure. It is even possible to make a map of tiny blood vessels in the back of your eye, called a retinal pattern.

Using biometrics to prove who you are is widely seen as the best way to and protect yourself from identity theft. But this high-tech solution may turn out to be less effective than some people hope.

RFID

Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, has been around for at least a couple of decades and has been used mostly by retailers to help stop shoplifting.

But now, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) thinks it would be a good idea to put in RFID chip in everyone’s driver’s license. Companies like Bling Nation have started marketing programs that use RFID to make secure purchases without a credit card.

But identity thieves have already proven that it’s easy to snatch your identity with a RFID reader, and the equipment they use isn’t even very expensive.

This is a great idea if you’re looking to keep track of your inventory, but the benefits are just about even with the liabilities.

Virtual Cards

The idea that identity theft is all about credit has brought about huge changes in the credit card industry. One of the most promising is the "virtual" credit card or v-card. This is nothing more than a very sophisticated computer program used by your credit card company or bank. A virtual credit card is associated with your bank account (for example) to make online purchases. You can keep the virtual card until it expires, or you can delete it if you think it has been compromised.

These are excellent if you buy stuff online, and they do give you a tighter reign on your money. But their popularity is based mostly on the perception that identity theft is an online problem. Although virtual cards are a help and a great idea, they won’t have a dramatic impact on identity theft.

Cell Phones

It seems like everyone has a cell phone these days, so it’s easy to imagine using your cell phone to protect your identity. One interesting program, PinPoint,uses your cell phone location to determine whether or not a card purchase is probably you.

Of course, identity theft is far more than just your money.

Protecting your credit card is not going to protect you from, for example, medical identity theft or criminal identity theft. But using your cell phone to protect personal information shows a lot of promise in the years to come.

Mix-and-Match

Putting together these different ideas will probably create new high-tech programs and devices designed to protect your identity. For example, the iWallet combines biometrics and blue tooth technology to keep identity thieves out of your wallet and alert you when somebody tries to steal it.

However, all the high-tech solutions in the world are not going to replace a little bit of common sense. Protect your personal information, and identity thieves will probably look for easier prey. Know the seven types of identity theft, and you will have a good idea of what to look out for.

Enroll in an identity theft protection program that will help resolve an identity theft event, or better yet – one that will fix your problem for you.

Because even the high-tech identity theft techniques, products, and innovations can not guarantee you will not become a victim someday.