So there are some companies out there that are marketing their products under the guise that their services will help you prevent Identity Theft.
Actually, there are HUNDREDS of companies marketing their “solutions” as things that will help you with Identity Theft.
Though there are many, we are going to pick on just two today.
Data Safe Wallets:
From the Press Release:
“Its new line of DataSafe Wallets(TM) for men and women (are) designed to protect the new ‘smart card’ credit cards from wireless identity theft.”
Well, yah, I guess you could say that you would be protecting your already encrypted smart card by having a wallet shielded with some sort of RF-blocking material. While this is a good idea in concept, it doesn’t really address Identity Theft. All it does is protect the cards in your wallet. Since the vast majority of Identity Theft doesn’t occur by someone grabbing your information wirelessly from an encrypted data stream, these wallets aren’t really helping people with the problem of identity theft.
Overall impact on helping people with Identity Theft? Minimal
GPS Installed into Laptop computers
This is being marketed as something that will decrease incidence of Identity Theft.
This product is actually very cool. Not only does it track a stolen laptop, but it will actually hide sensitive files based on the proximity of a computer to a sensor, or based on a person logging in to a web site and “Locking down” sensitive information on the computer remotely.
While a cool product, this doesn’t really help with Identity Theft:
#1. An Identity Thief who is stealing the computer for the purpose of getting personal information from it, is going to get the information off of the computer as quickly as possible (possibly before it leaves the location where it’s stolen from, and possibly even before anyone knows it’s stolen).
#2. What if the Identity Thief is the person you’ve hired and given the computer to? There are numerous cases, but here’s an example.http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/3-16-2005-67177.asp
Overall impact on helping people with Data Security? Likely very good.
Overall impact on Identity Theft: Minimal
Be careful when you’re looking at purchasing Identity Theft Solutions. The products may be cool, but unless they provide a complete umbrella of protection around you, they’re likely using the buzz around the term “Identity Theft” to market to you.