As 2017 comes to a close, it is crucial to understand what has happened in the cyber security world over the last year, and what we can learn from it as we move into 2018.
Various types of data is constantly being exposed, leaving personal information consistently vulnerable and an inevitable increase in identity theft. In both 2016 and 2017, identity theft has been the center stage when it comes to cyber crimes. It is one of the easier crimes to pull off and easily monetize from, ensuring that it will continue on in 2018. Understanding the stats of past crimes can help us better understand who will be targeted in the new year and moving forward.
The Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN), which collects data from the FTC and local law enforcement agencies across the U.S., recently reported that more than 13% of the over 3 million criminal complaints recorded in their system relate to identity theft. Thieves are constantly bypassing efforts to combat them, constantly developing their strategies to target different age groups or internet users.
Data shows that American consumers are more likely to be a victim of identity theft than in any other country. People who are active on social media even have a 30% higher chance of becoming fraud victims, as their information has increased exposure.
Over 61% of these identity theft complaints come from consumers between the ages of 30 and 59. The number of these victims who have reported the crimes had increased 37% from 2014 to 2016, further supporting that these types of cases can be expected even more in 2018.
While everyone is at risk of being a potential victim, both people over 55 and small business owners are two groups of people with an increased risk factor. These groups both tend to feel as though they are immune to cyber threats, or that they don’t carry the type of information that attackers are looking for. The truth is, even the most basic information that we all possess is all that criminals need to make you a victim of a cyber attack.
Thankfully, most consumers are getting slightly better at defrauding attacks and they are becoming aware of them. Still, cyber crimes are proven to be on the rise, so it is important to do all you can to help protect your information. Download a password manager app like FORTR3SS today to serve as your first line of defense!