As we are sailing steadily into 2020, it’s also a good idea to look back at what came before. As various historians can attest to, learning from the past is a great way to prepare for the future. With that in mind, let’s take a look back at previous years and predict what 2020 and beyond may have in store for us.
Our Identity Theft Predictions
With the growth of the internet and people using it more and more for everything, the main front for identity theft will be in cyberspace.
A report by internet security provider Symantec has concluded that cyber criminals are getting more and more ambitious. Their methods of attack are becoming harder to detect and they have vastly widened their list of targets. The number of times various devices connected to the internet are being attacked has also gone up, devices like routers, cameras, etc are on average attacked 5233 times per month. Symantec says cyber criminals most commonly access these devices with the following passwords: 123456, [BLANK], system, sh, shell, admin, 1234, password, enable and 12345.
More bad news follows, the amount of website forms that get compromised has increased by 117%, resulting in cyber criminals stealing credit card information and making millions of dollars. Business and individuals have been getting their online accounts taken over more and more, up by approximately 79%. Additionally the amount of new account fraud has gone up by 13%.
To that end it seems likely that the various identity theft protection providers will be stepping up their focus on protection for data breaches, data privacy, etc. Ideally companies will become more transparent about their data breach reporting to allow people better understanding about what’s going on. As the younger generations that have grown up with this come of age it’s also expected that the general level of knowledge will increase that way. Some good news in regards to ransomware is that their activity is down 20%! It’s still out so remain vigilant, especially businesses.
The Most Likely Identity Theft Targets
Fraudsters and data thieves need targets in order to achieve their nefarious purposes. So who is most likely to get hit?
Children and the Elderly
At the end of the day absolutely everyone is at risk, if you have a social security number then you’re a target. It’s horrible to think someone would go after kids, but sadly they do. The reason for it is kids don’t have a history yet, they offer a fresh beginning and are typically not monitored like adults are. Now, the elderly on the other hand, are targets because they are typically easier to scam. Some studies indicate that as we get older we in fact begin to trust others easier, making detecting fraud harder for them, and easier for scammers to get what they want.
Users on social media
Far too many people put far too much information up on their social media profiles. People are way too trusting with it for some reason. Cyber criminals can easily look through social media profiles and find users full names, phone numbers, address, hometown, and other sensitive information. Taking that info they are able to begin stealing your identity. They will also target you specifically with various scams and take even more of your information and eventually your money.
If you’ve been hit by identity theft, you will most likely be targeted again. Across the U.S, 21% of people who become victims of identity theft experience it again. As if you didn’t have troubles enough, you may find yourself with more of the same before fully recovering from the first time.
Take your cyber security seriously, past trends point towards 2020 showing increases in cyber attack. Also remember that you are vulnerable through paper records as well, so don’t forget about that important aspect as well. In that regard we are better able to help you.