Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Truth About Identity Theft Book Review

The Truth About Identity Theft Book Review

by Jim Stickley

4 stars

Witty (Hopefully) Amazon Title: Digestible Truths to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

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 less technical 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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