Definition of Identity Cyber Theft


Cyber identity theft is the use of computers and communication systems to steal an electronic copy of information. Stealing this information often goes undetected and rarely, if ever, is the criminal discovered or apprehended.


  • Cyber thieves who steal personal information online do so to take an individual's personal information and use the information to create a new identity in which to commit illegal activities or to use for other purposes.

Illegal Activities

  • There are some cyber thieves who use stolen information to obtain Social Security Numbers and to commit credit card fraud. Also, some thieves use stolen identities to apply for a job under the name of another person's identity.


  • Stealing the information of the individual is accomplished through the use of a computer and communication devices. Because many computers and communication devices are connected online, the Internet is the primary way that this is accomplished.


  • Hackers use deficiencies in operating systems to infiltrate computers to destroy data and steal information. Hackers are cyber thieves who steal information for their own illegal purposes.


  • According to the Better Business Bureau, because so many people are connected to the Internet, protecting computers from cyber identity theft is not just a personal issue, it has to do with protecting our national security.

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  • Photo Credit Image by, courtesy of Blake Patterson
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