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Identity Theft Statistics – Security Breaches

August 21, 2007

There are a lot of identity theft statistics you need to be aware of. First and foremost is this crime is increasing every year with no signs of a slowdown.

Identity thieves still target individuals but the biggest increase of id theft is in security breaches.  A security breach happens when a thief gets his hands on a laptop or data files with large numbers of personal information. You tend to hear about that on the news a lot lately.

Here are a few statistics to consider:

  • January 2007 – 28 Reported Security Breaches affecting 2,200,000 people
  • January 2006 – 21 Reported Security Breaches affecting 1,000,000 people
  • January 2005 –   3 Reported Security Breaches affecting 50,000 people
  • January 2004 –   4 Reported Security Breaches affecting 31,000 people

The three year trend:

  • Total U.S. Breaches Reported in 2006: 321
  • Total U.S. Breaches Reported in 2005: 131
  • Total U.S. Breaches Reported in 2004:   20

Unfortunately, there’s no way you can prevent your personal information from falling into the wrong hands in cases like this. Here’s a few instances that have happened recently.

  • A lock box with computer backup tapes with medical claim data of about 130,000 Aetna health insurance policyholders was stolen during a break-in.
  • The state of New York had a portion of their website which included residents social security numbers accessible to the public before realizing it. Donald Trump’s number was among them.
  • The names, social security numbers and dates of birth of 26.5 million Veterans were stolen from the home of a Department of Veterans employee.
  • Jax Federal Credit Union in Jacksonville, FL with 7,766 members has its private, non-public information, including social security numbers, exposed on Google’s search engine.

Companies and employees don’t intend for breeches to happen. Many times they go to great lengths to protect the personal information they have collected. Identity thieves continue to be on the cutting edge of technology and are able to hack their way through well-designed firewalls and security defenses.  These guys know what they’re doing and will go to any lengths to succeed in stealing large numbers of identities at once.

Identity Theft Protection is the best way to keep your identity safe. Once it’s stolen, it’s too late.

Don’t become the next victim – protect your identity today.

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