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We Need to Talk about Identity Theft (Again)

The results are in: Americans care about identity theft but do little to prevent it.


A recent survey of 2,000 Americans ages 18 to 82, conducted by ERP Maestro, shows that “… three out of four Americans (76 percent) believe that it is inevitable that they will be victims of identity theft or cybercrime. However, almost half (48 percent) of respondents said that they are not concerned about it.”

Identity Theft is a Reality

While identity theft is a reality for people across the globe, according to researchers from Symantec, Americans are more likely to be victims compared to our international counterparts. And the problem is only getting worse; Javelin Strategy reports that the number of identity theft victims in the U.S. rose to 16.7 million in 2016.

Even though 37 percent of Americans have already been victims of identity theft and cybercrime, only 32 percent think they could have prevented it from happening.

Of those who were victimized, 64 percent had credit or debit charges, 16 percent had information stolen, and 6 percent experienced employment or tax fraud.

Despite the potential consequences, three out of four victims reported no change in their online behavior following the incident.

According to ERP Maestro’s report, the people who do try to prevent their identity from being stolen check their account for fraudulent charges, use complex passwords and use firewall software at home.

Reality of Cybercrimes

Similarly, a CSID Survey from May 2016, shows that “52% of small businesses don’t invest in cyber risk mitigation, believing that they don’t store any private information.” Of course, this is not the case, as even email addresses can act as an entry point for cybercriminals.

This study also found that “…31% of surveyed small businesses are not taking any active measures to mitigate cyber risks such as data breaches and hacking.”

There is a misconception out that there that any damage is done is reversible; actually, 57 percent of Americans believe this. But really, this laid-back attitude about security can lead to even larger data breaches with even more serious repercussions.

Undoubtedly, there is a disconnect from the reality of cybercrimes and the actions we are taking as individuals and businesses to address it. Whether it’s your personal information or your business, we have to prepare for the inevitability of cybercrimes. The fact is, we need to protect ourselves and we want to work with you to do just that.