A survey that was conducted earlier this year questioned over one thousand people to see if they had already had their identity stolen. Eighteen percent of the people had confirmed that, indeed, they have had their identity stolen within the last year. Another seventeen percent of the people surveyed did not even know if they had had their identity stolen. That may potentially increase the number of people who have had their identity stolen in the last year to almost thirty-five percent!
The number may seem pretty low compared to the high number of data breaches, but the thing is that it usually takes over eighteen months for criminals to use a person’s confidential information after it has been taken by the thief. The effects of some of these larger breaches, like the Equifax breach in July 2017, will start to be seen soon.
The fact is that once your personal information is stolen, there is no way to retrieve it. Once it’s gone, it’s out there forever. Criminals buy and sell your personal information on the dark web for as little as five dollars. This data sale can be life altering for you but just another day for a criminal. The unfortunate case being that you can never delete your information from the dark web means that you can see that eventually, your identity will be stolen and then used against you. It’s not a matter of IF, it’s WHEN.
There are some things you can do to make yourself a smaller target:
- Change your passwords every time you hear of a data breach that you may have been involved in, regardless of if they claim you were involved or not.
- Don’t use the same password for every platform.
- Freeze your credit to hinder fraudulent credit being taken out in your name.
- Enable two-factor authentication to enhance the level of security.
- Keep a watchful eye on your credit, IRS tax information, and medical records.
There is absolutely nothing that you can do about companies exposing your data, and, unfortunately, when that data is lost, it is available to criminals forever. All that you can do is protect yourself by making it harder for these criminals who obtain your personal information to get away with pretending to be you.
The bottom line is that there’s really no better time than the present to become a LibertyID member for identity theft restoration protection. Our extended family plan covers the member, their spouse/partner, the member and spouse’s/partner’s parents and their children. We’re the AAA of identity theft restoration, offering a 100% guaranteed identity theft restoration service. But just like with AAA, you have to get covered before there’s an incident. When you sign up for LibertyID, you’re covering yourself and your family from the fallout of identity theft and the potentially hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars lost due to identity theft.