Breaking headlines show us that data breaches are happening everywhere. Personal information is being leaked both through outside attackers and employee accidents. People’s names, addresses, and Social Security Numbers are hitting the streets, and sometimes along with their credit card numbers or medical files. Once your identity is up for sale on the black market, how safe do you feel?
This problem isn’t going away. In fact, it’s getting worse. One study shows us that data breaches are on the rise with over 806.2 million records exposed during the past 6 years. That’s just one study that analyzed 3,765 incidents that were made public. There are countless more that we still don’t know about. It’s clear that hacking is the driving force, causing almost 50% of all exposed records.
So what’s the big deal? Companies have to pay a hefty price when they fall prey to data breaches, with costs estimated at more than $156 billion! But the biggest risk belongs to the person whose identity is stolen. Since you don’t change your name and Social Security Number very often, the threat continues long after the initial incident.
To make matters worse, in the past year crime rates for exposed data have risen by 58%! Criminals are seizing the opportunity to profit from data leaks at the expense of individual victims. When you stop and think about all the businesses that have your data on file, it can be scary. How seriously are these companies protecting your data? Do you feel safe? How can we as consumers demand better privacy?