Is Your Identity Exposed? Tips to Secure Your Identity Online
Did you know that 429 million identities were exposed in 2015? Findings from the 2016 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report show that this number actually hides a bigger story. While there was a record number of 9 mega breaches in this year, companies are not required to disclose the full extent of a data breach. The total number of people affected by a data breach and whose identity is compromised as a result could be much greater. A conservative estimate by Symantec accounting for unreported breaches pushes the number of records lost in a data breach to more than a half billion, in 2015.
What is a mega breach?
A mega breach is a data breach of more than 10 million records. In one of the largest mega breaches in 2015, 78 million patient records were exposed in an Anthem data breach.
How a data breach can expose your identity and other risks
Compromised personal data resulting from a data breach can expose your identity to theft and fraud at the hands of cybercriminals. On average, a victim of cybercrime can spend 21 hours dealing with the impact. Imagine not only the potential financial loss, but also the time spent notifying financial institutions, updating account credentials, and a number of other inconveniences when your online identity is exposed.
Take a closer look at data breaches by the numbers:
Tips to Stay Safe Online:
- Regularly monitor your credit report for suspicious activity.
- Information sent over public wi-fi can be stolen. Use secure connections.
- Use unique sign-on credentials on all your online accounts and enable two-factor authentication.
- Mind your privacy on social media. Do not share details identity thieves can profit from.
More tips to protect your identity and information online in the event of a data breach: