If your data has been shared online, don’t be surprised. With 93 percent of the U.S. population using the Internet, the increase in data breaches and digital footprints enable cybercriminals to carry out digital identity theft at scale. Data breaches are becoming more commonplace, hitting 42% more Americans in 2022. This “scamdemic” of identity theft is expected to continue as the U.S. is on track for a record number of data breaches in 2023
A 2022 KPMG survey of senior risk executives found that 62% of companies in the Americas experienced a data breach or cyber incident in 2021, and that same number say they experienced an economic loss as a result of cyber crime in the past year. Despite this, in 2020 half of organizations spent only 6–15% of their security budget on data security. Consumers are often left picking up the pieces, and the recovery from identity theft can be time consuming and stressful.
What are some signs that your personal information has been compromised in a data breach? Here are a few:
- Your contacts have been receiving email messages from your account that you didn’t create
- Your passwords have changed without you knowing
- Your device is installing the software you didn’t authorize
- You get fake antivirus messages asking you to install
- Your personal data is leaked
Here are a few tips to determine if any of your accounts are at risk:
- Check to see if you’ve been contacted. Typically, your service provider will contact you via email or regular mail, alerting you to the fact that your information has been compromised. This can take weeks to months, however. Monitor the news for any announcements of data breaches.
- Use a password manager. Many password managers offer breach-monitoring services. They also will frequently ping you to use a different, strong and complex password to secure your accounts. It’s not uncommon for a breached account to serve as a sort of skeleton key to other accounts, so avoid using the same email address and user name.
- Look for suspicious activity on your accounts. You may see unfamiliar login attempts tor changes to your account settings and receive emails or text messages about activity such as login attempts, password resets or two-factor authentication codes
The U.S. has the highest number of data breach victims. That coupled with the fact that they are on the rise means most individuals and businesses are under a near-constant stream of attacks while connected to the Internet. Enfortra’s new My Privacy 360 removes personal information from the web and actively scans the web for repeatedly exposed data. Securing online privacy is a relentless battle. Even when individuals proactively delete their information from people search sites, they are typically re-exposed 2-3 times a year.