Many people simply think of identity theft as an inconvenience and an annoyance. Sure, when someone steals your identity, they may take some money or use your name in an unlikeable manner, but this real damage is only going to last until you catch them and make enough changes to get full control over your information back... however, this is entirely untrue. Although you may regain control over your accounts relatively quickly and be reimbursed for the money that was taken or be able to work things out with your credit card companies and other institutions, the truth of the matter is that once someone has accessed your information, they have an "in" to your life that will continue even after the theft has stopped.
In cases of identity theft where one or a few individuals are the targets, it is possible for people to retain the information that they access. Despite the victims changing passwords, increasing security methods, or even changing banks, there is certain personal information that cannot be as easily changed like Social Security numbers, birthdays, addresses and information about additional family members. Once a thief has seen this information, it is possible for things to go to the "next level" where the danger is no longer simply pertaining to identity theft, but could also result in confrontations, stalking, threats or other similar instances. Luckily for the victims, most of the thieves are content to stay hiding behind an electronic screen, preferring to commit their crimes with relative anonymity. For this reason, when someone catches on to the fact that they are ID theft victims and changes necessary information, the thieves will simply move on to their next targets and repeat the process.
How can I avoid this hassle?
Sadly, the occurrence of identity theft has increased as more and more people have switched over to using computers to conduct day to day business. Shopping, banking, paying bills and other documents can be done over the Internet, meaning that there is more information about people present online. The best type of identity protection is different for every individual, however the best idea is to be proactive about implementing some form of monitoring service or password keeper as soon as possible in order to avoid long term repercussions from prolonged cases of identity theft. Due to the nature of this type of crime, it is very likely that the actual culprit will never be located, and the "fight" will simply be between you and your institutions about getting things back in order, so having a form of protection like an identity monitor or credit monitor may provide useful results that can set things in motion almost as soon as the theft is detected.
Where can I learn about identity theft?
Thankfully for those that are considering implementing one or more of these types of monitors, there is a great deal of information available about exactly what identity theft is online. One site that contains such information is http://www.identityguard.com/what-is-identity-theft/, where you can learn about identity theft, the potential repercussions, and methods available to help fight against becoming a victim. One very important thing to remember that no type of protection currently available can actually prevent the theft from happening in the first place; these methods are very helpful when it comes to seeing changes made to different accounts and keeping people that gain access to one portion of your identity from being able to get to others - an example of this is a password keeper, which requires a master password in order to access every area of a computer, which could limit the abilities of a thief.