Independent research firm Javelin Strategy & Research reported that identity fraud increased by 13 percent in 2011. In the United States, over eight million adults were victims of having their identity stolen and their personally identifiable information used against them.
These numbers are only growing as thieves and scam artists become more and more sophisticated with their methods. In 2010 alone, the the Bureau of Justice Statistics (part of the U.S. Department of Justice) said that approximately seven percent of American households had at least one family member who was the victim of some type of identity theft.
What can you do to protect your sensitive information? One of the easiest things you can do to help yourself is to ensure that you are using a strong password. Whether it’s to access your computer or an online account, using a password that uses a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols makes it more difficult for even seasoned hackers to crack.
To learn more about how to strengthen your passwords, our friends at LifeLock have an infographic showing the most commonly used passwords as well as how simple changes can improve your online security. Also, every Thursday from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST we take part in an identity theft Twitter chat hosted by the Identity Theft Resource Center (@ITRC). The discussions provide insight into how things are changing with identity theft and offer ways for you to protect your information and that of your family.