Report: Combined Consumer Education and Increased Security Measures Equal Reduced Identity Fraud

While surfing the ‘net, I came across a report about the reduction of identity theft and identity fraud. Obviously, it caught my attention. Following, in part, is that report which was produced by Javelin Strategy & Research, and co-sponsored by CheckFree Corporation, Visa Card, and Wells Fargo & Co.While identity theft remains a multi-billion-dollar problem for businesses, organizations, and individuals, incidents of the fraud dropped significantly last year, according to a report.Identity fraud occurring in the United States declined in 2006 by 12 percent over the year before, from $55.7 billion to $49.3 billion, according to the third-annual survey by Javelin Strategy & Research. The survey, which involved 5,000 telephone interviews, estimated the number of victims dropped for the fourth consecutive year by about 500,000 to 8.4 million persons.Researchers attributed the decline to better consumer education and awareness and increased use of online banking and financial sites that allow closer monitoring of accounts. “Businesses are doing a lot more, law enforcement is doing more, and so are consumers,” said James Van Dyke, president of Javelin, a research company in Pleasanton, Calif., specializing in financial services and payments.Tena Friery, research director at the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a nonprofit consumer organization in San Diego, said she was surprised by the size of the decline but said there is much greater public awareness. “We still have a long way to go,” she said.According to the report, there was a significant reduction in fraudulent new-account openings, traditionally one of the most common kinds of fraud. It occurs when a criminal uses a victim’s personal data to open a new account.The survey also found that it takes on average less time and expense to resolve a fraud case than last year. When fraudulent accounts are opened, the average fraud amounts dropped from more than $10,000 in 2005 to $7,260 in 2006. Resolution times dropped from an average of 25 hours in 2005 to five hours in 2006.Van Dyke said one reason the numbers are down is that businesses are “screening account applicants much more closely.”
Individuals and consumer groups have long argued that extra screening was needed because conflicting application information, such as two addresses, could indicate identity fraud.One group that isn’t doing better, according to the report, is 18- to 24-year olds. This age group was more likely to become a victim of identity theft than other age groups. (See sure to read my related article, Your Child’s First Year at College: Prime Target for Identity Theft?).The report references offline criminal activities; however, I do believe that incidents of identity theft have remained unchanged online. One example is stated above, with cybercriminals targeting recent high school graduates and college freshmen. Unfortunate victims, these graduates and college freshmen provide extremely lucrative opportunities for the cybercriminals to obtain their personal information. Even before they start their first careers, these graduates and college students will, most likely, be crippled by identity theft.To protect yourself, you need an internet security team of experts making sure that you, your family, and your business computer are always safe and secure. The best protection you can have in today’s rapidly changing world of cyber-attacks is to have expert support for all your Internet security needs that will provide technical support without any hassles and without charging you extra fees. It will become even more critical than it is today as time goes on. You need to find your own personal team of experts to rely on. If you ever have a security problem, you will want to have a trusted expert you can call for professional help, without any hassles and extra costs!Because cybercriminals are becoming smarter and more sophisticated in their operations, they are real threats to your personal security and privacy. Your money, your computer, your family, and your business are all at risk.These cybercriminals leave you with three choices:1. Do nothing and hope their attacks, risks, and threats don’t occur on your computer.2. Do research and get training to protect yourself, your family, and your business.3. Get professional help to lockdown your system from all their attacks, risks, and threats.Remember: When you say “No!” to hackers and spyware, everyone wins! When you don’t, we all lose!© MMVII, Etienne A. Gibbs, MSW, The Internet Safety Advocate and Educator

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Earning A GED Diploma Qualifies You For College Education And Better Career Options

People who haven’t earned a high school diploma are often presented with limited opportunities. That is, they couldn’t get a better income-earning job, pass for a promotion or go to college. If you happen to be part of this statistics, you have an option to pull yourself out of the rut you are stuck in, and that is taking the GED test and acquiring a GED diploma.While it’s true that a GED diploma isn’t as strong as a high school diploma, it’s better than having nothing at all. You may be a dropout who hasn’t and could not finish high school. Are you thinking about taking the GED test? That may be a good decision, especially as you mull over the benefits of passing the GED test. Here are 4 of them:It presents an alternative to studying in a traditional school. In many cases, individuals find it difficult to finish highschool. Thus, they drop out and are not able to finish their secondary education. Not having a highschool diploma can have one stigmatized. He or she tends to be not accepted when applying for a decent job and cannot pursue further education, such as that in college. But you shouldn’t think that you’re hopeless if you’re in the same situation. You can make the decision to move on and make your life better by taking the GED test. Then can you obtain your GED diploma which is equivalent to a highschool diploma. With it, you can catch up and get ahead in life. The average age of GED test-takers is 26, according to a recent report of the GED Testing Service. Most of the people who take the GED test have been out of school for 10 years or so. These are the individuals who have strived to “complete” their high school education by taking the GED test.You can avail of better employment opportunities. Employers often discourage high school drop outs from applying in their companies. They also want to make sure that their applicants possess reliable skills to contribute to their businesses. And so they require the latter to hold a high school diploma or an equivalent of it. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has indicated that a GED diploma can qualify you for a full-time employment than if you don’t have one. Unemployment rate for those without diplomas reach 12.7 percent while only 8.3 percent of those with diplomas are without jobs. A GED diploma may not be literally required to advance in a job, but the knowledge, skills learned and the hard work of a GED earner may qualify them for a promotion.There are better opportunities to earn more. A GED diploma may not hold the same value as a high school diploma, but the U.S. Census signified that GED diploma holders earn $3,100 a month on the average- $700 higher than those who had some high school education and $1,000 more than workers who had elementary level of schooling. Getting the GED is an educational experience where you acquire more knowledge and learn hard work. You’ll likewise gain know-how pertaining to your skills. These could have you hired for a higher income job, or advance in the workplace by way of a promotion.Advance in your education. “Barron’s GED: High School Equivalency Exam” has cited that a GED diploma is a major requirement when it comes to gaining admission to technical schools, colleges, as well as participating in career training programs. You may already be employed, but without a GED diploma, you aren’t likely to be able to avail of further trainings and certifications that are necessary for you to progress in your company.Knowing these benefits of passing the GED can motivate you to take the test and get hold of your diploma. You can move on and get ahead in life even if you’re a high school dropout by making the choice to take that one crucial step. Your capability and aptitude signified by your GED diploma can help you change your life for the better.

Online Health Care Schools – Enrollment and Training Possibilities

You can study for the career of a lifetime by enrolling in an accredited online health care school. Various training options exist to provide you with the opportunity to pursue the career of your dreams. Enrollment and training possibilities are available through health care schools online in order to prepare you for the workplace. You can learn the steps that need to be taken in order to receive a higher education in this field, and become a professional.Before you decide on the educational path that you will need to follow to pursue a career, you should learn about the field. There are different areas of health care that offer various services. Professionals in this line of work can provide services from health education to treating patients. You can obtain the education necessary for entrance into the field by choosing an online school or college and enrolling in the program that meets your needs. Different opportunities exist that can allow you to prepare for entrance into the workforce. After you have learned about the various areas of the field you can begin planning the path that will help you become a health care professional.Accredited online health care training can help you pursue a variety of professions. You can train to become a:
Physician Assistant
Health Educator
Public Health ProfessionalAfter deciding on the career that is right for you, you can choose the level of education that is needed to seek employment.Online training in this field can be completed at a number of levels in order for you to pursue a career. You can train at the:
Associate Level
Bachelor Degree Level
Master Level
Doctoral Degree Level…to obtain the skills and knowledge that you will need to carry out work related tasks. The level of degree will determine the topics that you will need to study.Online health care schools and colleges can offer you the chance to receive the training that you will need to become successful. You can choose an educational path to follow that is catered to the career that you would like to enter. The online coursework that will be provided will cover different subjects based on the level of higher learning and occupation chosen. Health care training can include online courses in information technology, science, nutrition, computer technology, and fitness. You can also study online in physical therapy, environmental health, behavioral sciences, and much more. Once training through an online program is complete, you can begin looking for employment.By selecting an educational training path to follow and completing all necessary requirements, you can be on your way to the future you desire. Prior to pursuing an education in this field you should choose an online health care college that is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools ( http://www.abhes.org/ ) or other agency. This will ensure that you can obtain the quality training you need and deserve. Begin the path to the future you long for by researching various programs and enrolling today.DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP.org.