The recent data breaches at Home Depot, Target, and even JP Morgan Chase have left millions of Americans at risk for identity theft. Retail stores are one thing, but then one of the largest financial institutions in the country, which employs state-of-the-art data protection techniques still can’t keep your data safe – it makes individuals think we need to take action ourselves to ensure our private information stays private.
The U.S. Department of Justice reports that in 2012 over 16 million people in the U.S. were victims of identity theft. The losses from this crime have amounted to over $24 billion. And it’s estimated that the crooks are increasing their take. One study found that from 2012 to 2013 the number of identity theft victims increased significantly.
Reports show that the criminals are getting better at using the information that they do hack. Indeed, some experts guessed that the JP Morgan Chase breach may have been a test to gather information for some larger purpose. This motive is speculated because although the criminals went to great lengths to get inside the bank’s systems, they didn’t access funds that they could have easily gotten.