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Identity Theft Toolkit: How to Recover From and Avoid Identity Theft    by John Lenardon order for
Identity Theft Toolkit
by John Lenardon
Order:  USA  Can
Self-Counsel Press, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

John Lenardon, author of Identity Theft Toolkit (and also of Protect Your Child on the Internet), is the president of a company specializing in computer crime investigations and training. Here he addresses a topic of increasing concern to most of us.

Lenardon begins by explaining what identity theft is ('the fastest-growing nonviolent crime in North America today'), its relationship to technology, how thieves operate, what they do with your personal information, and how to detect that it's happening in your life. He then focuses on prevention in different arenas - privacy policies and disclosure of information; protection of personal information at work; how to secure your computer and use the Internet safely; issues relating to phishing scams (email con games); hackers; PDA risks; and even how to dispose of your computer without making identity data accessible to others.

If all this doesn't safeguard you, Lenardon presents steps to take, how to get help, and who to contact, after being victimized, going into some details on identity theft reporting. The book includes an Identity Risk Test and Identification Document Checklist, very useful forms and sample letters for dealing with identity theft, and Quick Lists of contacts for both U.S. and Canada (forms and sample letters are also provided on a CD-ROM that comes with the book).

In addition to the financial hit, it seems to me that one of the biggest things identity thefts steal from their victims is time - all the time taken to deal with the consequences of the crime. John Lenardon's Identity Theft Toolkit is a useful resource to help avoid the problem in the first place, or reduce its impact once it has happened.

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