expressed opinion entrepreneur Contributors are their own.
The thought of an intruder breaking into our home in the middle of the night scares most people, and rightly so. We have a natural aversion to unwanted visitors, let alone malicious intruders who threaten our family and property. We locked doors, installed cameras, and kept police dogs as a precaution. So why don’t we take the same steps to protect our very essence in a more intrusive and insecure environment: the Internet?
your most valuable asset
Your most valuable assets are the physical attributes that make up your identity, legal name, identification documents, occupation, experience, community, self-awareness and purpose. All of these things, taken as a whole, make you, you. Your identity is not shared by anyone else on earth that has been or will ever be. It is unique to you. This is the essence that you share with your family, colleagues and community; it is the foundation of your entire life.
I call this your “true identity”. No one has a right to it, but that doesn’t stop the most corrupt among us from trying to steal it.
Related: 4 Ways to Protect Yourself from Identity Fraud
lost confidence, lost trust
We live in an era of unprecedented convenience, but that convenience comes at a high price. Thieves, malicious actors and criminals are constantly trying to undermine our identities. Unfortunately, many of us are all too willing to share personal information with the vast array of anonymous profiles on the internet. Still, much of the blame lies with the people who shape our internet behavior.
We inherently trust the entity behind our internet experience to protect our data, but this trust is often misplaced. Every breach of our identity is a breach of the trust and confidence we have while surfing the web. Fraudsters are very crafty and can easily steal our personal data when most of it is protected by the thin walls of password authentication. when they do, The result could be catastrophic.
The dark side of identity theft
When we consider the impact of identity theft, fraudulent financial activity, such as opening fake credit card accounts or applying for loans in our name, is often the first thing that comes to mind. However, bad actors can use our identities in more personal and intimate ways.
human trafficking Still a pretty big problem, exacerbated by the internet. Its connection to identity theft, though less obvious, remains. Victims may be forced into trafficking under the threat of identity thieves, or forced to make financial decisions that strip them of their independence.Traffickers use fake identities troll social media site, looking for unwary victims to persuade to meet. Thieves can also use stolen identities to falsify identities for trafficked persons, thereby depriving both individuals of an important part of their humanity. These victims became invisible to society, unrecognizable to themselves, and lost hope that they could regain their birthright. But there is a way.
Related: How Companies Can Fight Human Trafficking
road to redemption
The Internet was created to share information almost instantaneously around the world. It has done so, but this spirit of sharing has created a world where the most wicked among us can operate behind the cloak of anonymity largely unchecked. Now is the time for the most influential companies and institutions in our society to fight these thieves and stop them from stealing most of our personal information, and they have a security mindset from the start, not just when developing new programs or services. Afterthought.
Even with stronger security practices, identity theft can still happen. Victims of online identity theft often feel lost of purpose and identity. However, we must expand hope. Even the victims of the most brutal and horrific crimes in history are able to regain their status as the masters of their own destiny.
Louis Zamperini is such a story of redemption. Born to Italian immigrants at the turn of the 20th century, Zamperini built a criminal empire as a teenager on the streets of Torrance, California. However, he discovered a passion for track and field in high school and went on to compete in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He later joined the Air Force and served over the Pacific in World War II, where the Japanese captured him.
Despite daily torture, Zamperini refused to submit to his captors and was often brutally beaten and tortured for disobedience. During his incarceration, his identity and humanity were effectively erased. He was liberated in 1945, but his experiences haunted him until he converted to Christianity in the 1950s. He forgave even his most brutal guards.
Related: Your data breach doesn’t necessarily lead to identity theft
There are many stories of similar people Identity erased by incredible hardship. However, many of them were able to pick up the slack, find their identities, and make great contributions to society. The same is true for victims of modern identity theft and trafficking or other forms of exploitation. Their story is not over, they have the right to live. It’s time to help these people get their lives back, be more compassionate to those around us who we think are at risk, and ask our legislative leaders to enact stricter identity protection regulations and the companies we support with our wallets to take greater measures. action.