Identity theft grows nearly 50% in 2008

id theft
id theft

The Identity Theft Resource Center has released its 2008 numbers, and they're not pretty. They tracked a total of 656 data breaches in 2008, which is a 47% increase over 2007. What does a data breach mean for consumers? It means that a company holding your private information (typically credit card numbers and/or social security numbers) had its computer systems hacked. Your private information then sits in the hands of criminals.

What's even scarier is that 89% of breaches were against unprotected data. This means that the companies that were hacked, for the most part, didn't have any protections in place. Of course, this is the very reason they were hacked in the first place, but these statistics just demonstrate how effective things like encryption and password protection can be to secure customer data.

What can we do to change things?