Online Identity Theft

By: Evan Fitzgerald
By: Evan Fitzgerald

Identity theft: We all try to protect ourselves from it.

But now thieves are finding ways to get your information through your kids in cyberspace.

"For example, if you have done your tax return online and have saved it in your computer, and your child is online sharing music, and the default is to share whatever is on your computer, your tax return information which includes your social security number and all of your other pertinent information could be shared," said Lisa Hicks-Thomas, Chief of the Attorney General's Computer Crime Unit.

And you may not even realize those file sharing programs are even on your computer.

Attorney General Judy Jagdmann says criminals are finding new ways to get personal information through sites your children use often.

"Talk to your children about the fact that they should really not leave personal information on the Internet. Especially when they are IMing with people they do not know," said Jagdmann

She says kids might not realize who is actually looking at the information they post on the Internet. But our local schools are looking to change all that.

"A lot of the things we are doing with our kids are to teach them to protect their privacy. How not to go into journaling sites and Web logs where they give out information about themselves," said Joe Showker, a Rockingham County computer teacher.

There are things being done to combat these problems. Virginia has some of the toughest anti-spamming laws in the country, and the Attorney General's Office hopes to add legislation to fight some of the newest schemes soon.


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