I’ve been thinking about the video we watched last Monday about identity and realized how scary something like identity theft can be. Not only that, it’s scary having someone know your identity who you don’t know knowing your middle name, last name, date of birth, where you live and so on. You never know whose on the other end.

As I sat down to think, I remembered when the MSN craze began during my time in Junior High. My parents were always worried about us (the kids) using it because they didn’t know who we were talking to. They didn’t realize that it wasn’t your ordinary chat room. You’re able to decide who you talk to, who would see you online, who you could block, and so on. I couldn’t understand why they were so worried until I grew up a little bit. So now I’m wondering what people can do with your identity besides stalk you and whatnot. Not that that’s not scary enough…

I guess the first thing that comes to mind is the antiphising toolbar which you can use in your Hotmail account (I use this as an example as it’s the only one I use). I have received numerous emails about not paying for an item on Ebay. First of all, I don’t have an Ebay account. But, if I did and thought that it was a real email from Ebay and decided to log in, then my password and user name has automatically been “stollen”. I can only imagine having a Credit Card number stollen..

A good example is as follows: “Research by Harris Interactive and Gartner in the summer of 2003 found that approximately 7 million people were victims of identity theft in the previous year” The sad thing is, is that this has probably increased dramatically since 2002. With that said, according to Identity Theft Resource Centre, victims end up spending 600 hours recovering from the crime as they have to contact people and work with credit cards, banks, credit bureaus, and law enforcement. This can add up to $16,000 in lost wages an income!!! That’s basically a new Toyota Corolla!!

After reading this, I now understand why my parents were so cautious about us  using programs such as MSN. Forget about stalking, you never know what can happen to you if “unknown” people know too much..