The 2012 Identity Fraud Report: Social Media and Mobile Forming the New Fraud Frontier report released by Javelin Strategy & Research Data Breaches increasing and more damaging – “One likely contributing factor to the fraud increase was the 67 percent increase in the number of Americans impacted by data breaches compared to 2010. Javelin Strategy & Research found victims of data breaches are 9.5 times more likely to be a victim of identity fraud than consumers who did not receive such a data breach letter. The survey found 15 percent of Americans, or about 36 million people, were notified of a data breach in 2011.”
Over the past five years, criminal hackers from all over the world have been targeting huge databases of Social Security and credit card numbers. The endgame for criminal hackers is identity theft. Once they obtain stolen data, their objective is to turn it into cash as quickly as possible. This either entails selling the data to identity thieves on black market forums, or using the information to create new accounts or to take over existing credit card accounts.
According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse’s Chronology of Data Breaches, more than 500 million sensitive records have been breached in the past five years. The Chronology of Data breaches lists specific examples of data theft incidents in which personal data is compromised, lost, or stolen: “employees losing laptop computers, hackers downloading credit card numbers and sensitive personal data accidentally exposed online.”
The fundamentals of ID theft protection include:
Software: Antivirus, antiphishing, antispyware. Total protection “all access” suites of protection and full disk encryption
Hardware: Routers, firewall security appliances
Physical security: Commercial grade solid core doors, business security systems, security cameras.