Friday, April 18, 2008

An ounce of prevention...

The old adage says that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"; and nowhere is that more true than in the world of Identity Crime. I was encouraged to see that Peter Piazza of NewsFactor pressed this point in his first look at SafeCentral.

There are two terms used seemingly interchangeably to describe the problem: 'Identity Theft', and 'Identity Fraud', but these terms describe two distinctly different events. The difference between these events highlights the reason we created SafeCentral, and why it is such an important factor in the defense of your identity and your money. An ounce of identity theft prevention is worth a pound of identity fraud cure.

According to Webster's Dictionary, theft is "the action or crime of stealing"; fraud is "wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain". You can't commit identity fraud without first having committed identity theft. It is therefore paramount to one's personal security to safeguard the data that can lead to identity fraud. SafeCentral aims to provide just such protection, isolating your online activities from prying eyes and assuring that your usernames, passwords, and personal credentials remain secure.

The importance of prevention becomes evident when you look at the true cost of a cure. There are several prominent (worthwhile, I might add) services that can monitor your credit and raise an alarm should someone try to conduct a fraudulent transaction or application in your name. In addition, many of these services will go the extra mile and insure you against disastrous financial loss. Unfortunately, they cant make the clean-up after an identity breach any easier. You're still going to spend as long as a year getting all new credit cards, perhaps a new social security number, closing out or migrating at-risk accounts, cleaning your dirtied credit, and realigning all of the payments and pay services that were auto-billing to your various accounts. In short, you're going to pay in sweat and tears what you don't pay in plain cash.

As with all security, a layered approach is best; but nothing can substitute for a SOLID first line of defense. In the case of online identity crimes, that means prevention - which means SafeCentral. Combined with an up-to-date desktop security suite, and adequate credit monitoring or fraud prevention services, SafeCentral can sure up your identity and give you the freedom and confidence to transact online at your leisure, and save you from ever having to fight to recover a stolen identity.

Peter's article is one of the first I've read that accurately differentiates the actions of theft and fraud in the internet age. We at SafeCentral, and the entire team at parent-company Authentium, are excited to be bringing to market the first truly end-to-end identity theft prevention service.

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