Personal finance writer
Statistics enthusiast focused on data-driven content.
As reports of sensitive information breaches increase, the
widespread fear of identity theft follows. However, a survey conducted by
Harris Interactive for Experian's ProtectMyID reveals that consumers
are still at a high risk for identity theft as many continue putting their
identities and resources in danger with risky behavior.
ProtectMyID's survey of 2,000 U.S. adult consumers confirmed
that a fear of identity theft is prevalent: 93 percent of consumers acknowledged
that identity theft is a growing problem and 67 percent worried that identity
theft will affect them personally.
Three of every five survey respondents (61 percent) admitted
that it wouldn't be difficult for someone to steal their identity.
And no wonder. According to the survey, released Oct. 21, 2013, Americans
under-protect their digital devices and overexpose their personal data through
risky online shopping habits. For example, 43 percent of smartphone owners report
rarely or never using a password to protect their device. Ninety-one percent of adult consumers shop
online, but 55 percent don't check to make sure a site is secure before
completing a transaction.
Exposing too much information on public social media sites
and freely writing Social Security numbers on job applications and medical
forms are just a couple other common practices that could jeopardize one's
identity, according to the report.
"This survey clearly shows that, while people
are more aware and concerned about identity theft, they are not doing what they
should to be protected, especially when it comes to online activities," Ken
Chaplin, senior vice president of marketing for Experian's ProtectMyID, said in a press
release. "Consumers clearly don't want to become victims, yet they continue
to put themselves in danger."
See related: Am I a victim of identity theft?,
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