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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Book, September 12, 2008
By 
Alexandra Bailee "Lexa" (Tucson, AZ, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Truth About Identity Theft (Paperback)
Okay, I know you didn't ask, nevertheless I'm going to help you out. Do you want to give your friends, employees, family or yourself an excellent, useful gift? Get a copy of Jim Stickley's book The Truth About Identity Theft "Why be me when I can be you?"

I didn't expect much when I opened this book. It's an unimpressive, slim book with a stark, two-color cover. I was prepared to slug my way through the usual dry preachiness of this type of book. I'm happy to report that Identity Theft is far and away one of the best written, most interesting, informative, useful books I've read in a long time.

Identity Theft reminded of important issues of security that I had let slide and educated me on possibilities that I hadn't even considered.

This book is part of a series, "The Truth About," published by FT Press. Stickley's company, Trace Security, investigates a wide range of security issues. Stickley has been a guest on some of the morning television shows. The book is divided into parts associated with various issues or "The Truth About": Phishing and Vishing, Trash, No-Tech Identity Theft, Just How Low Identity Thieves Will Go, Theft in Plain Sight, Online Cons, Security at Work, stories from identity theft victims, and information on how to stop identity theft.

The information in this book is an eye-opener, but what impressed me was the clean, concise writing style. The book moves right along with facts, anecdotes and suggestions. The reader is left with the feeling that the author respects his audience enough that he doesn't have to shout, oversell, overstate or berate the reader. This book will scare the heck out of you, but you'll still enjoy it and be very glad you read it.

One thing that struck me as I read this book is that laziness and inattention are at the heart of a lot of what happens to us as victims of identity theft. Our super busy lifestyles make us particularly vulnerable to this nasty type of thievery. One thing you'll realize as you read the book is that if you don't slow down and pay attention now, you may have to pay with many years of your life being sucked away as you try to remedy an identity theft situation.

"In the end, it all comes down to doing something. Don't just wait until something is done to you." (p.166)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning what I thought I already knew, October 7, 2008
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This review is from: The Truth About Identity Theft (Paperback)
Wow what an eye-opening book! I bought this book after seeing Mr. Stickley on the Today Show (more than once.) I was always impressed with the information he was giving the public and thought I'd give his book a try. I'm so glad I did. He explains in quick easy chapters what identity thieves do and how they do it. He then goes on to tell you, the reader, how to protect not only yourself, but your family and even your children from these kinds of scams.

If you have ever been the victim of identity theft, or if you're concerned about the growing number of people who are hit by these thieves each year and don't want to be one of them, read this book and protect yourself!
You'll be amazed at how easy it is to lose control of your information. Read this book and you won't lose it again!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why didn't I think of that?, November 21, 2008
This review is from: The Truth About Identity Theft (Paperback)
Mr. Stickley presents the typically dull topic of identity-theft in a way that will have you laughing out loud and wondering, "Now why didn't I think of that?!" With the wisdom of Confucius and a wit similar to Dave Barry's, Jim's book will be enjoyed by all.

If you own a computer, you MUST read this book;
If you surf the Internet, you MUST read this book;
If you use a credit card, you MUST read this book;
If you use ATMs, you MUST read this book;
If you've ever thrown junkmail in the trash, you MUST read this book!

Just read this book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars First Published in 2008 and Still Both Companies and Individuals are Not Even Paying Attention to the Basics..., April 8, 2013
By 
Joshua Jordan (Des Moines, Iowa, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Truth About Identity Theft (Paperback)
Is the adoption curve for information security really so incredibly flat; are we all just a nation (or globe) of laggards? After reading this book published in 2008, I can't help but respond with a resounding "yes."

Certainly there are those companies and individuals out there who have a sense for information security and have adopted measures to protect themselves - some even unwittingly if you think about the security features designers of computer software and hardware are just putting into place as the technology advances, but how many people could even give explanation or reason of the new feature they suddenly see installed onto their work computer or the new personal computer they have just purchased? I am willing to bet very few. Now some might say that in some instances, it's not necessary for, say, the corporate employee to understand the new install they see; perhaps, but the vast majority of identity thefts, either behind a corporate veil of IT experts, or an individual keeping their new laptop's security software up-to-date, can have really little to do with attacks on potential software or hardware vulnerabilities at all. Most thefts do not even require a computer to execute them it would seem.

The reason, as Stickley points to time and time again, and each a unique vector of attack, is the false confidence in security that the individual(s) in the work environment or the home environment has and automatically assume(s) is shielding them (for a variety of reasons) from the potential onslaught of identity theft. One great example of hubris in the workplace is detailed in his chapter, "Walk Right In and Steal Whatever You Would Like." Stickley gives an example of one job he was hired for to assess a hospital's information security - all he would have to do is present confidential data on patients he was able to gather unnoticed and the job would be a success. Unfortunately, the hospital assumed an attack on their computer database was coming - instead, he made an appointment at the hospital, was escorted to the examination room, and upon completion of the examination and subsequently the nurse and doctor leaving as he gathered his things, instead of walking to the check-out desk, he walked the opposite direction, taking a patient's chart outside each examination room he walked by from the usual spot at the top of the door on the outside of the room, utterly removed from anyone's sight. At the end of the hall, he turned around and grabbed each that he missed on the first pass; and, as approaching the check-out desk, he walked by an open door that just happened to lead to a room for storing records. After grabbing several more documents and as he walked out of the room, he bumped into the same nurse that escorted him into the examination room; he gave a polite smile and asked where the exit was - equally polite, she responded without question as to what he was doing. He left with 27 unique files; enough to make 27 individual's financial-lives hell for several years.

This incident was not of mere coincidence with one hospital in one area - he outlines countless exploits where similar situations occurred in completely different circumstances and contexts. Even with IT receiving a healthy amount of attention (as it should), this book outlines clearly that technological exploits are not the only concern. The book is easily digested; it is outlined with each chapter a different vector of attack and recommendations on how a company can generate policy or an individual can begin a habit for mitigating threat to information breach. The book closes with summary advice on prevention and, if an attack does occur, how to cope with it and what resources one can use. The book was an easy read and one hard to put down - Stickley tells stories that are just dumbfounding, but worked at securing confidential information because the vast majority of people do not understand or have not adopted the necessary security measures to protect their livelihood. As I said, this book hit the shelves in 2008; it's 2013 now, and the risk has not tapered off - the threat is growing faster and in greater intensity than ever before. This book can certainly provide the essentials for securing information; essentials that are desperately needed in the minds of every employee and everyone who has concern over their own and their family's financials - i.e., everyone should be weary of identity theft and this book will help you both prevent and recover from it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Should be required reading for everyone, September 18, 2010
This review is from: The Truth About Identity Theft (Paperback)
Easy read with good information. I'm a computer security consultant so most of the book was refresher training. Chapters 1-38 provide different scenarios for how your identity can be stolen and specific recommendations for protecting yourself. You can also skip to the chase in Chapters 39-46 for solid information on how to protect your computer, your credit, and what to do if you've already got a problem. Definitely a book I would want to have if I had to give a briefing on the topic. Chapters are short and powerful with good recommendations.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Identity Theft - Bad News, Good News, August 24, 2010
By 
Frank D (ridgewood, nj United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Truth About Identity Theft (Paperback)
The Truth About Identity Theft
By Jim Stickley © 2009
Publisher: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN: 10:0-7897-3793-0

A Book Review by Frank Dobrowolski
For the Hobbyists Unlimited Computer Club, August 2010

This book scared the bejeebies out of me. It explains dozens of ways that one's identity can be stolen and used to steal money from one's account.. Fortunately, the book also discusses ways to protect against having an identity stolen and ways to keep track of one's finances to stop or at least limit theft. Further if one's identity is stolen the book presents the steps to take to limit the damage and to regain one's identity.

The book is an easy read. Each chapter is devoted to a particular subject. There are 46 chapters, each short - only three pages. The thoroughness of the book can be gleaned by noting some of the chapter titles and content:
' Phishing via snail mail
o Phishing is the use of electronic communication to obtain confidential information such as passwords.
' Your used computer is worth its weight in gold
o Y our personal data can be obtained from stolen laptops or discarded hard drives, even if "protected" with encrypted passwords and reformatting of the hard drive.
' What do you means there's a warrant for my arrest?
o Criminals can use stolen identity information when arrested and sentenced.
' Medical identity theft
o Stolen identity can be used to obtain medical services which then become part of one's medical history
o This is especially noteworthy since Federal Law is driving the system to a central data bank for medical info.
' ATM scams
o Obtaining your personal info when you use an ATM machine and then withdrawing money from your account
o Bank of America here in Ridgewood, NJ, recently had an ATM attacked and accounts endangered.
' Fake e-card greetings
o An e-mail induces one to open a file to observe a greeting. A thief spoofs the legitimate web site and presents a valid e-greeting - but also loads malware that can obtain personal information.
' [Identity theft] started with a phone call
o Thieves pose as legitimate companies claiming there is a problem with one's account; using stolen legitimate info [ e.g. known Social Security number] to induce getting more personal info.
' Crack proofing your passwords
o Most passwords can be cracked by rogue programs that test many passwords until the correct one is found; some programs are available free on the Internet
o Use strong passwords - random letters using upper and lower case, numbers and symbols, long password or multiple "words".
' Stopping thieves in their tracks
o Filing fraud reports with the Police and the three Credit Reporting Agencies
o Set up Fraud Alerts with the three agencies
o Freeze credit info from the 3 agencies - including prohibiting issuance of new credit cards
' Getting our life back in order
o Many actions recommended
o Takes time to undo identity theft.

So, the bad news is there are many ways that thieves can act to steal one's identity and finances. However, the good news is that we can protect ourselves and, if a victim of an identity theft there are procedures to rectify the situation. This book presents the range of information that allows the reader to prepare for and prevent or minimize identity theft.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars To catch a thief you gotta think like a thief..., May 29, 2010
By 
Marina Alcasas (Los Angeles, California) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Truth About Identity Theft (Paperback)
OK, so you may not have a thief to catch, but do you want to "get into the mind of identity thieves" and find out just how they can empty your wallet without ever laying their hands on it?

This is a GREAT book writen in non-geek language and it's as entertainig as it is informative. I read it the same day I pulled it out of Amazon's shipping box: peeked inside and simply couldn't put it down. Grab a pen and paper when you read, you may want to jot down a few tips that will save you a fortune later. Being robbed is not a "luxury of the wealthy"; if you have a name and a Social Security number, you have something to lose. You may not be able to completely eliminate the possibility of identity theft, but Jim Stickley's book shows how to cut the odds of it down. An absolute must-read if you have a teenager in your household; teach them the simple ways to protect their good name and credit report before someone ruins it for them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Facinating insight into the criminal mind, October 11, 2009
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This review is from: The Truth About Identity Theft (Paperback)
But what I really wanted was more in depth info on how to clear up an ID theft event (since a friend of mine was just one such victim). Many of the books have parroted the same info that is already readily available on the Internet for free - contact the credit agencies, contact the police, contact the FBI (which is now handled by the FTC).

As my friend has been busy getting in touch with credit agencies and government agencies one thing that has emerged is the sheer lack of helpfulness that a few of these groups seem to give to you. The thief lived outside our state, so the police department in that state would not help us file a police report since we did not live in their state. And our own local police will not file a police report since the perpetrator does not live in our state!! Yet, repeatedly, Government and other helpful websites tell you to file a police report... see the problem. They also tell you to notify the FTC, who took over the job of dealing with ID theft from the FBI. But we were told the FTC does not do anything about ID theft, they take your information about the theft but only for documentation purposes, they are not a law enforcement agency and do not track down and prosecute bad guys!

What we did learn was that if the bad guy used the US Mail, by getting your mail forwarded to them, then you can notify the USPS. This might be one of the most valuable insights: if you start to realize that you do not seem to be getting very much mail all of the sudden, please immediately check with your letter carrier to see if you have had a forwarding request placed on your mail. And definitely DO contact the credit agencies, that is very important to help try to prevent charges for things you did not buy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Digestible Truths to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft, December 25, 2008
This review is from: The Truth About Identity Theft (Paperback)
When this book showed up (review copy) I initially thought what a piece of garbage. Like a previous commenter said, the book has a lackluster cover and its small and skinny. BUT, I flipped through and noticed that it contained lots of little "truths" 3-4 pages in length that quickly covered specific topics related to identity theft and protecting yourself online. So I decided to give it a shot.

The book is broken into 9 parts:

Part 1: The Truth About Phishing and Vishing
Part 2: The Truth About Trash
Part 3: The Truth About No-Tech Identity Theft
Part 4: The Truth About Just How Low Identity Thieves Will Go
Part 5: The Truth About Identity Theft in Plain Sight
Part 6: The Truth About Online Cons
Part 7: The Truth About Security at Work
Part 8: The Truth About Identity Theft from Real Victims
Part 9: The Truth About Putting a Stop to Identity Theft

Again, each part consists of several 3-4 page vignettes on topics related to the section and each vignette, while short, yields some actionable information on the topic. I didnt have any specific favorites, they were all good. Just about all of them were real world examples that they author conducted during security assessments or real life examples from people that had contacted the author or stories he had heard. Its sometimes much easier to emphasize with Susan who was a victim of identify theft and the troubles she was having trying to set things right. Of real value was the part on Putting a Stop to Identity Theft which tells you how to get rid of the pre-certified credit card offers, checking your credit reports, actions to take if you are a victim of identity theft and some of the pitfalls that can come up during the process.

So why 4 stars? Well mostly because I review technical security books it wouldn't be fair to give a book that doesn't yield "new" (but still useful) information 5 stars when other more technical books are graded much harsher. So that being said, if I had approached it being a less technical reviewer I would have easily given it 5 stars. If you want to get a book for mom and dad to protect to help them protect themselves from themselves and the rest of the bad guys out there this is the book for them. Unfortunately I finished it too close to Xmas to give copies as gifts.
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