According to the recently released 2012 Javelin Strategy & Research Identity Fraud Report, the number of identity fraud incidents increased by 13 percent in 2011, totaling 11.6 million adult victims. The report also found that certain social media behaviors and increasing number of data breach incidents contributed to the overall amount of identity fraud instances in the United States over the past year.
The findings in this year’s study indicate that fraudsters are taking advantage of consumers’ increased use of social networks, and hacking into large businesses where many identities are housed in one place. As these criminals continue to evolve in finding new ways to retrieve personal information, it is imperative that consumers remain consistent and committed to protecting their identity.
Intersections (provider of Identity Guard®) is pleased to provide the following recommendations and insight into this year’s report:
Protect Your Information. Exposing common information like birth dates and addresses puts consumers at a greater risk as these elements are commonly used by financial institutions for security questions and validation of identity to access accounts. Even such seemingly harmless information could be valuable to experienced identity thieves.
Be Social, But Be Smart. Knowing that social networks are a hotbed for identity fraud activity, consumers should take extra care when deciding who to connect with and what applications to accept. Users that approve friend requests from strangers and use GPS/location based applications are far more susceptible to fraud.
Take Caution with Mobile Computing. The convenience of online and mobile banking is here to stay, but consumers need to take the extra step of ensuring their network connection is secure and their devices have updated security.
Be an Active Party in Detection. Consumers must take the responsibility of protecting their identities into their own hands. By enrolling in a comprehensive identity protection service like Identity Guard®, consumers have the extra security they need to help keep them protected.
Act Quickly. The sooner a victim learns of the fraud, the sooner their road to recovery can begin, so consumers must remain alert and act quickly in the event that they notice suspicious activity, reporting it to their financial institutions and law enforcement.
Read more about the 2012 Javelin Strategy & Research Identity Fraud Report.
Learn more about identity theft protection.