Scammers are stealing more personal information than ever through massive data breaches, finds a new report from The Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego.
The report, released today, found that last year the number of data breaches in the U.S. increased by 17 percent when compared to 2018 numbers.
“We were hopeful that we would see a long term downward trend, but unfortunately that didn’t happen,” said Eva Velasquez, CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center.
And while the number of breaches rose, Velasquez says the study found that the number of records released in those breaches were lower in 2019 than in 2018, however, that mostly had to do with the massive data leak that occurred with hotel chain Marriott.
“Our data continues to be extremely valuable to the thieves, therefore they are going to find anyway they can to get their hands on it,” said Velasquez.
The study found that hackers accounted for the majority of data breaches and the majority of breaches occurred at business followed by medical offices.
“Hacking continues to be the most popular way for thieves to gain access to our data,” said Velasquez.
So what can you do to prevent your information from falling into the wrong hands.
Velasquez says one easy way is to make sure you do not use the same password for our different accounts. Another, freeze your credit to stop anyone from using your identity to apply for credit cards or new bank accounts.
“In today’s environment, it's really up to us individuals to be ever vigilant about how we share our data with whom and how much data we create," said Velasquez.
To view the report visit the Identity Theft Resource Center website.