According to the latest data from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), the number of publicly reported data breaches in the U.S. rose by more than 40 percent in 2007.
The ITRC cited 443 publicly reported breaches in 2007 as of December 24. That compares to 315 publicized breaches in 2006. In all, 127 million data records were exposed during 2007, compared to nearly 20 million in 2006. In 2005, the ITRC reported 158 publicly disclosed breaches exposing about 65 million records.
Identity thieves keep finding innovative new ways to steal, and are becoming more sophisticated and skilled at their craft.
Who is the Identity Theft Resource Center?
The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) is a nonprofit, nationally respected organization dedicated exclusively to the understanding and prevention of identity theft. The ITRC provides consumer and victim support as well as public education. The ITRC also advises governmental agencies, legislators, law enforcement, and businesses about the evolving and growing problem of identity theft.
Identity Theft is a crime in which an impostor obtains key pieces of personal identifying information (PII) such as Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers and uses them for their own personal gain. This is called ID Theft. It can start with lost or stolen wallets, pilfered mail, a data breach, computer virus, phishing, a scam, or paper documents thrown out by you or a business (dumpster diving). This crime varies widely, and can include check fraud, credit card fraud, financial identity theft, criminal identity theft, governmental identity theft, and identity fraud.
Their website contains several valuable tips, including breach lists, scam alerts, assistance on lost/stolen wallets, victim issues, medical identity theft, victim support, victim impact studies (statistics), and identity theft in the workplace.
See also: Data Breaches Set Record in 2007