13,945,653 Online Identity Records Were Lost in November 2011, According to the IdentityHawk Identity Breach Report
Tuesday, December 13, 2011 -
IdentityHawk® reported 87 publicly known breaches in November compromising 13,945,653 online records. The results are part of the “breached institutions” listing from The IdentityHawk November 2011 Identity Breach Report. While 87 breaches were identified, 37 of the breaches had an unknown number of records lost. So, more than 13 million+ were actually lost.
The report further revealed that types of data lost as a percent are as follows:
Data Lost % of total
Names and/or Addresses 33%
Social Security Numbers 16%
Date of Birth 14%
Medical Information 10%
Email Account 8%
Credit Card Numbers 5%
Account Numbers 4%
Financial Information 3%
According to Jeff Paradise, executive director of IdentityHawk, “While the number of records lost is staggering, the most important statistic is that 16% of the breaches were of social security numbers. Loss of a social security number or driver’s license number is the cornerstone of having your total identity stolen. This is an alarming statistic and any breach can be the gateway to someone stealing your identity, not just your credit card. That is why you have to be aggressive in protecting your identity if an enterprise is breached that might have your information.”
Paradise recommends these steps:
1. Immediately see the details of the breach.
2. Determine if you are affiliated with the fraud event.
3. If affiliated with the breach (for example if you bought something from a retailer online or offline using a credit card, your information could have been compromised) IdentityHawk, or others can, guide members through the specific steps needed to take protective measures.
“The most important step is to have early knowledge of a breach and take immediate action,” Paradise concluded.
A data breach, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), is “an event in which an individual’s name plus Social Security Number (SSN), driver’s license number, medical record, or a financial record/credit/debit card is potentially put at risk – either in electronic or paper format.”
IdentityHawk’s constant data breach alert service is part of IdentityHawk’s comprehensive “Fraud Screening.” It assures that IdentityHawk members can take swift action to protect their personal identity.
IdentityHawk is a leading identity protection service that aggressively zeroes-in on potential threats to help consumers safeguard their identity. Members are warned of potential identity risks so they can take better control to stop fraud before it starts. IdentityHawk is a product of FYI Direct, Inc., a leader in direct-to-consumer credit and identity protection services. For more information, go to www.identityhawk.com.