According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), an accredited non-profit organization dedicated, like us, to helping educate the public about identity theft, there were 980 data breaches in 2016 exposing over 35 million records. They have links to pdf’s that list all 980 breaches on this page. Use the data breach list for detailed descriptions of each but if you just want to see if a company you deal with had a breach then your best to use the breach stats report and use the find function on your computer.
IdentityForce has a good summary of many of the major data breaches here, including Yahoo, AdultFriendFinder.com, Cisco, Weebly, DropBox, Oracle, LinkedIn, Wendys, Verizon Enterprise Solutions, Snapchat, UC Berkeley, University of Central Florida and of course our two personal favorites the U.S. Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service.
As you can see your data is no longer safe, hasn’t been in over a decade and its proven year after year. Why then do so many Americans choose to ignore the very real threat of identity theft? We don’t know but back in 2007, yes 10 years ago, we wrote a 4 part series titled Don’t be Fooled, Your Identity Is Not Safe, click here for part 1.
To us, not buying identity theft protection or otherwise taking steps to protect your identity is akin to not having fire insurance on your house or insurance on your vehicle. We need to start paying attention people, at least at a minimum start verifying your financial statements and ordering your credit reports. It’s amazing to us how many people still stick their head in the sand and just trust nothing bad will ever happen to them.
Please, take the time to educate yourself if your new to identity theft. Visit our homepage to learn the steps you can take to protect your identity for free or read this article Identity Protection – Do I Really Need It?. You can certainly learn a lot with 5 to 10 minutes of your time and it may save you countless hours in recovering from an identity theft situation.
We wish we could say 2017 will be a better year, things will change and identity theft will no longer happen or decline drastically, but you know there is no chance of that. Be smart, be safe. Protect yourself and your loved ones.