Identity theft across the United States is becoming a major problem, but still does not receive the attention the issue deserves. Many folks around the country don’t know how prominent the problem is, or how likely it is to affect them. Many people don’t know the extent thieves will go to steal one’s identity, or the vast array of ways they use to do it. What follows are five facts concerning identity theft that may be useful in protecting yourself, both online and in the real world.
1. One In Every 16 Adults Fell Victim to Identity Theft in 2016
Over 6% of America’s adult population was a victim of identity theft, according to data from that year. Identity theft can range from stolen credit card or debit card information, online identity fraud, mail fraud and more, meaning you have to be constantly aware of attempts to have your information stolen. Part of modern life is living on your toes, as unfortunate as that is.
2. Corporate Identity Theft Costs Businesses a Total of $48 Billion Every Year
One of the major forms of identity theft comes from data breaches and even print sources within corporate America. Companies must become aware of how important it is to purge documents of a sensitive nature, whether that’s digital on hard drives or by using document shredding services. Identity thieves often gain sensitive information available on documents that haven’t been disposed of correctly.
3. Close to 90% of All Information Stolen Comes From Print Sources, Not Digital
Another reason to emphasize the importance of on site shredding, these print documents are nearly always the source of sensitive data leaks. Whether you decide to use local shredding services or have some sort of on site shredding available, businesses must be sure to start being more careful when it comes to the handling of sensitive physical information. On site shredding is one of the only safe ways of disposing of documents, so that may need to become the new norm for many businesses.
4. The Medical Industry Is A Major Target of Identity Theft
In 2015, the healthcare industry suffered 277 distinct data breaches, resulting in 113 million people being affected. Many hospitals and doctors’ offices use outdated computer systems due to a lack of budget, resulting in many systems being open game for identity thieves. The medical industry has already begun adjusting to the new norm of maximum security, and hopefully the rest of American industry will follow.
5. Identity Theft is the Fastest-Growing Crime in the Country
As more and more criminals become aware of the potentials of identity theft in our new digital age, the crime is becoming more popular than ever. Society hasn’t yet adjusted to this change overall, leading to many people falling victim to this crime because they didn’t know how to prevent it. Make sure to keep your information secure by avoiding suspicious links or websites, destroying any and all sensitive documents, and using your credit and debit cards in trusted places only.
Those are just five interesting facts surrounding this booming crime. Do you have any other important knowledge to drop, or an opinion you’d like to share? Leave them for us in the comments below, and thank you for reading!