LifeLock Announces Tips to Help Protect Consumers Against Identity Theft
Another year, another data breach. More than 85 million personal records were exposed in 783 data breaches in 2014, leading President Obama to act on identity theft, America’s “fastest-growing crime,” and urging legislative action on cybersecurity during his State of the Union address last month. And yesterday, Anthem Inc. confirmed yet another breach of personal information, including Social Security numbers, which could affect tens of millions of Americans.
Data breaches have an impact not only on businesses, but also on consumers – a 2014 Forrester Consulting study on behalf of LifeLock found that individuals that were notified their personal information was part of a breach are six times more likely to have been a victim of identity theft in the past 12 months. But what many people may not factor in is the emotional impact of a breach. Consumers can feel poorly equipped to handle a data breach and feel as though businesses may not do enough to help them. A new study of more than 1,200 consumers conducted by Morpace on behalf of LifeLock found that 58% of consumers believe retailers put the burden of identity theft protection as a result of a data breach on the customer and over 80% of consumers believe retailers and banks/credit card companies need to do more to protect their customers.
“As the Morpace study shows, the public is feeling helpless when it comes to protecting their identity and you can understand why when a breach seems to happen every other week,” said Hilary Schneider, President of LifeLock. “But there are some simple things people can do right now to help protect themselves so that when a crisis occurs, they can be more confident. In a short amount of time, consumers can get educated and take some proactive steps to help protect their identity.”
LifeLock, which helps consumers take a proactive approach to owning their identity, recommends five tips on what consumers can do immediately to help protect themselves if they believe their data has been exposed by a breach. Those tips are:
- Change passwords for email accounts, financial accounts and social media accounts.
- Order a credit report from all three credit reporting agencies and place a fraud alert on the report (Equifax: 800 525-6285; TransUnion: 800 680-7289; and Experian: 888 397-3742).
- Call the Identity Theft Resource Center at (800) 400-5530 with additional questions.
- Monitor transactions by keeping an eye on credit and debit card accounts, looking for any fraudulent transactions and report any suspicious transaction immediately using the phone number on the back of the credit or debit card.
- If a retailer or employer offers free credit monitoring as a result of a breach, take advantage of it. But recognize that credit monitoring shouldn’t take the place of comprehensive identity theft protection.
According to a 2014 Forrester Consulting study on behalf of LifeLock, once every two seconds someone is a victim of identity theft resulting in total cost of identity theft of over $19 billion.
Schneider added, “The reality is, breaches are a part of our lives. Period. We have to acknowledge that and take ownership of our identities by taking an aggressive and proactive approach. The information and tools are available to help consumers try to stay one step ahead of the identity fraud caused by hackers – it is just a matter of educating them and making this a new part of their lives.”
For more tips and information for consumers visit www.lifelockunlocked.com.
LifeLock, Inc. (NYSE:LOCK) is a leading provider of proactive identity theft protection services for consumers and risk management services for enterprises. LifeLock’s threat detection, proactive identity alerts, and comprehensive remediation services provide peace of mind for consumers amid the growing threat of identity theft. Leveraging unique data, science and patented technology from ID Analytics, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary, LifeLock offers identity theft protection that goes beyond credit monitoring. As part of its commitment to help fight identity theft, LifeLock works to train law enforcement and partners with a variety of non-profit organizations to help consumers establish positive habits to combat this threat.
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