Sunday, February 15, 2009

Id Theft Rising Out of Control

Identity theft rose nearly 50% during the period of 2007 - 2008 and
to be one of the fastest growing forms of crime in America.
With the
recent melt down and ensuing turmoil within the financial
industry, 2009 looks to be an even more frightening prospect
for U.S.
consumers to suffer data breaches.

According to figures released by the IRTC, reported data breaches
rose 47% during 2008. When combined with a study by the Javelin
Research, an even more alarming picture of 2008 emerges according
to CNN Money.

The number of victims rose 22% to a record 9.9 million in 2008
from 8.1 million a year earlier, with about one in 23 U.S. adults
becoming victims, according to the fifth annual study by Javelin
Strategy & Research, released Monday.

To put those numbers into focus in terms of how prevalent identity
theft security breaches negatively impact U.S. consumers, a major
data research firm, Gartner Research, was recently quoted by
P.C. Magagine of an even higher number - "15 million identities are
stolen per year - or what translates into 2 per second."

What ever figure you ultimately feel comfortable in believing is
closer to reality, the simple fact that will still be remaining after
all of the research and analyis is identity theft is a growing and
serious threat to most Americans.

A threat that is not going away or will suddenly diminish.

Here's why:

ITRC estimates that only 2.4 percent of all the companies
breached had encryption or other strong protection methods
in use, while only 8.5 percent of reported breaches involved
surmounting password protection.

So, why transact with a business that doesn't place enough
value in you precious personal data to even utilize the most
minimal level of basic encryption or password protection?

The answer is and always has been, money. Corporations
will always be driven by revenue: either the acquisition of
or defense of from loss. Until the day comes where there's a
hefty penalty applied to these firms for not protecting your
data, you will continue to be a victim in waiting.

Why wait further? Take action immediately to gain back
some of the basic protection you assume the so called guardians
of your entrusted data would already been taking for your benefit.

Our tip for today, is to start by taking back control of your data.
Begin by shredding, using a cross cut shredder, any old financial
statements lying about the house. Next, eliminate the source of
the paper by contacting your bank and credit card companies to
request "paper less" statement delivery.

Then, make sure to order up a free copy of your credit report that
you are entitled to under the law. Diligently scrutinize your credit
profile for any accounts or suspicious transactions not authorized
by you. Also, make sure that you enroll in a credit monitoring service
through your credit card and banking institutions to pre-emptatively
catch would be identity thieves before they are able to cause major
damage to your credit resulting from attempts to open up fraudulent
accounts in your name.

Finally, take this final step which is even more important than just
credit reporting verification - conduct your own personal information
profile (PIP) investigation of your public records profile. This very
important and necessary step is vital to catch any instance of
identity theft which can exist in the over 400 public databases that
no credit reporting agency was ever designed to check.

This final step can not only save you from the potential for identity
theft and credit fraud, but also can keep you from being falsely
arrested or fired from your job due to the misdeeds of an
identity theft criminal.


At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Less than 3% of those companies used file encryption methods commonly available for either low or even "no" cost.

That explains it for me they really could care less about the consumer data they allegedly protect.

Thank you Agent99 for helping to expose the compelling need to protect your self using your identity theft prevention tips.

Keep 'em coming.

At 9:46 AM, Blogger agent99 said...

Anonymous said...

Less than 3% of those companies used file encryption methods commonly available for either low or even "no" cost.

That explains it for me they really could care less about the consumer data they allegedly protect.

You are very welcome and it is always a pleasure to hear how, as former identity theft victims, our id theft secrets tips are making a positive contribution to those needing to avoid the potential for credit fraud or identity scams.

And, yes, given those continued alarming statistics we've seen as just the most recent evidence of a trend we've followed now the past 6 years, identity theft will continue to rage out of control - that is unless you accept personal responsibility for your own safety.

Use these tips, there are over 300 articles available for free.

Make sure to tell your friends and family members about Id Theft Secrets so they too may get their very own anonymous tips.

At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you - great info.

At 4:04 PM, Blogger Silent Mike said...

In the United Kingdom there have been a few instances where laptops, USB keys and other storage media was either lost, misplaced or stolen. What makes this all the more harrowing is that these items belonged to various government departments and contained some very classified and/or personal information about members of the public, and furthermore, ... wait for it ... some of it was not encrypted.

The result of this travesty was that some of us received letters of apology from these departments. As though a mere letter will make everything alright. Thus ID theft may be on the increase but the giving away of your ID by a third party is something seldom considered, and through incompetence and apathy this is also on the increase. Perhaps revisiting a few fundamentals is called for.


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