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Stopping Identity Theft: 10 Easy Steps to Security Paperback – February 27, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

" A must-have for anyone who doesn't plan to spend the next 50 years living in a cave." --John Ulzheimer, President of Consumer Education, credit.com and CNBC contributor

From the Publisher

Protect yourself and your loved ones against America's fastest-growing crime!
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: NOLO; 1st edition (February 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1413309569
  • ISBN-13: 978-1413309560
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #965,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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By Mark #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Stopping Identity Theft: 10 Easy Steps to Security is a very well organized primer on all things related to identity theft and security of your personal financial information. The scope of possible ways that people can obtain and misuse your financial information is so vast that even those who consider themselves to be well-versed in this area will find something to learn here.

Pages 12 and 13 outline the "10 Easy Steps" referred to by the subtitle, though they are interspersed throughout the book. The steps cover everything from knowing your credit and avoiding scams, all the way through stopping identity theft once it has occurred. Along the way, background and supporting information is provided in the form of "USA-Today" style information boxes that provide snapshots of relevant points. The clean structure and good content of the book makes it very easy to quickly read and learn from.

A big part of detecting and responding to identity theft is maintaining your credit, which requires constant vigilance. Even some of the basic things aren't being done as much as they should be, such as regularly reviewing and correcting your credit report. Ironically, every area where one should focus on is also a potential area for new identity theft risks. The author covers, early on, how some websites advertising free credit reports are in fact themselves vehicles for identity theft. Thus, using trusted resources for identifying the legitimate firms and government agencies one needs to contact is half the battle.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Trusted ID dot com is an on-line company that sells identity theft protection for 20 bucks a month, so I was a little apprehensive about the book. I figured Scott Mitic would be selling his on-line services in the book, but not so!

This is a very detailed book, which it needs to be since identity theft can happen in many different situations in your life. Scott Mitic breaks it down into 10 steps (12 chapters in the book). It is easy reading and each chapter can be read separately. There are special areas within each chapter that are highlighted in blue boxes and through graphic illustrations (USA today "Snap Shots").

There is an introduction in Chapter 1 called "Identity Theft--What's the Problem?" which gives you an overview of identity theft and lists the 10 steps generally encompassing:
1. Credit Reporting
2. Safe Methods of Payment
3. Online purchases
4. Identify Scams
5. Shopping
6. Shared Personal Information
7. Medical Identity Theft
8. Family Identity Theft
9. Travel
10. How to stop ID theft if it happens to you.

The closing Chapter 12 called "Stay Ahead of the Curve" includes a test to see if you're identity theft savvy. Also included is keeping up with the latest trends, and especially helpful "How paranoid should you be?

This is great reference book to have on hand and highly recommended for everyone!!! Well worth the 20 bucks retail price, or 14 bucks on Amazon!!!
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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Overall, I found this product to be competent, though the audio-book format is probably not the best medium. I'm glad that the publisher included the text in electronic form, since there are references to websites and lists in the audio program. I listened to CDs in my car and they worked flawlessly. Both the narrator and author were clear and easy to understand, and the program was informative and even mildly entertaining.

Identity Theft is a broad topic. In this in this 4-5 hour program, virtually the whole gamut of ID theft is covered, from the various schemes used to steal identities to what actions should be undertaken to repair the damage. Special consideration is given for child/elderly identity theft, medical identity theft, and the securing your personal computer on the internet. The author is the founder of an identity protection outfit, and he discusses pros and cons of various services such as ID theft insurance, etc.

Based on my own experience with identity theft and various scams, the information on these areas is sound. However, some of the computer security advice is out-dated. Notably, people who have wireless networks should use WPA or WPA2 instead of WEP, as the audio program erroneously recommends.

The package includes 5 CDs, 4 comprise the audio program and 1 contains the eBook in PDF format. The Nolo software is unnecessary as it merely links you to Adobe to download Acrobat Reader and then copies the eBook to your computer.

Each audio disc, with odd exception of disc 4, is thoughtfully divided up for easy navigation. Discs 1-3 have 30-40 tracks, each 2-3 minutes long.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As someone who has had personal experience with identity theft, I was interested to see what this book had to say about the subject. This book covered areas I had never even considered and is a good introduction to subject. Like most NOLO/USA Today books the author offers a great overview of the many aspects of identity theft and further resources if you want more information on a particular topic.

As I personally learned identity theft has become a lucrative industry. There is so much information about people out there and so few real controls. The moment you give your credit card or its number to anyone, whether giving your card to a waiter or gas station attendant or paying for something over the phone, you run the risk of that number being used illegally. The moment you write your social security number on an information form given to you by a doctor or a credit card company or your bank you run the risk of someone copying that information and using it illegally. It seems like every few months the news has a story of some hacker getting into some supposedly secure financial institution's or retailer's computer system and accessing credit card information or social security numbers.

This book looks at the problem as a whole and them looks at specific areas where people are vulnerable. It talks about protecting financial accounts, dealing with online risk, how to protect yourself while shopping online or at stores, thefts related to health coverage and dangers while on vacation. It also looks at specific areas like being aware of your credit report and changes made to it, how companies collect data and whether you are giving out more information than you need. It also talks about what to do if you are the victim of identity theft.
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