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ID Theft Consumer Guide


 
 
 

 

ID Theft in the Information Age:The Prevalence of Data Warehouses

We live in what oftentimes is called the Information Age. Certainly, we do live at a point in history at which information is an important commodity. Information in and of itself has a definite and extrinsic value.


 

Your Personal and Financial Information as a Valuable Commodity

Perhaps the most valuable type of information that exists in this day and age is the personal and financial information of men and women (and, recently, the personal and even financial information -- be it as it is -- of children). As a result, an entire industry has developed through which the personal and financial information of consumers is amassed. This can include everything from your Social Security number to specific information about your financial status and financial institutions and services you patronize to detailed data on your shopping habits.




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The Rise of Data Warehouses Around the Globe

This information is stored and maintained by companies in what have become known as data warehouses. Quite like products and materials were stored in warehouses in the brick and mortar world, in today’s world the most valuable of all commodities -- information about you -- is now collected and stored in these so-called data warehouses.

With the rise of data warehouses around the world -- your personal and financial information very well may be in the hands of many operations across the globe -- your risk of becoming the victim of identity theft has risen dramatically.
 

The Targeting of Data Warehouses

Because data warehouses have become a true treasure trove of personal and financial information of in some cases millions of people, these data warehouses have become prime targets of people who are intent on committing identity fraud. In short, if these criminals can somehow access the information and data that is contained in these electronic warehouses, they might be able to misappropriate millions and millions of dollars in a very short period of time. (You must keep in mind that in many ways identity theft has become a very big business.)

How Information is Removed from Data Warehouses

In this day and age there generally are three different manners in which data is removed illicitly from a data warehouse.

First of all, there remain very talented hackers in operation today who are still able to penetrate security defenses maintained by data warehouses. These people launch on attack on a data warehouse from the outside and remove personal and financial information.

Second, many instances involving the wrongful removal of information from a data warehouse involves the proverbial inside job in which a person with authority to access the information in a data warehouse does so for inappropriate purposes.

Finally, there are many instances when data warehouses negligently or accidentally release information that they maintain to third parties which ends up leading to widespread identity theft.


 

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