In 2012, 12.6 million American adults fell victim to identity theft. Daily news headlines include data breaches at organizations such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and more; even former President Bush has been impacted! What’s worse, a recent study has revealed that one in four people involved in a data breach where personal information is exposed will end up becoming an identity theft victim; this is the highest correlation between data breaches and identity theft since 2010.*
Some common information to be compromised in data breaches includes credit card numbers, Personal information such as online banking login, user name and password and Social Security numbers. Consumers who had their Social Security number compromised in a data breach were 5 times more likely to be a fraud victim than an average consumer.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for consumers to be notified that their information may have been breached. Forty-six states have legislation in place that requires companies to notify customers when their personal information at risk of a data breach and data breaches impact millions of Americans each year.
Keep in mind that these notification letters just mean your information could have been exposed so it is important to be vigilant about protecting your personal information. Take these precautionary measures if you have been notified that your information may have been compromised from a data breach.
1. If your Social Security number has been exposed you should place a fraud alert with one of the three major credit agencies, Equifax, TransUnion or Experian.
2. If a debit of credit card has been exposed make sure to have that card cancelled and a new one reissued.
3. Check your credit report every three months through www.annualcreditreport.com to make sure there are no changes.
4. Investigate any strange accounts or mail that you receive that could indicate a new account being opened with your information.
5. Subscribe to an identity monitoring solution like InfoArmor – more than 50% of identity theft victims last year were notified by monitoring services or programs.
InfoArmor provides proactive and complete prevention plus best-in-class restoration through its identity monitoring employee benefit program. InfoArmor can detect tax fraud, identify suspicious wire transfers and fraudulent bank account openings, and so much more, in addition to the providing the protection that less sophisticated credit services offer. If you have any questions, call InfoArmor at (800) 789-2720.