(InvestigateTV) — An estimated 89 million people have had their data compromised so far this year, according to a recent Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) report.
While that figure represents a 13% decrease compared to the previous quarter, the number of data breaches with no actionable information about the root cause of the compromise increase by more than 20%, the report noted.
“It is troubling to see the trend of a lack of actionable information in data breaches continue from 2022,” Eva Velasquez, President and CEO of the ITRC, wrote in an announcement of the report’s findings. “This means individuals and businesses remain at a higher risk of cyberattacks and data compromises.”
James Lee and his team at the ITRC monitor data breaches across the nation.
“What we’ve seen is, companies shift away from providing information about what happened and why,” Lee said. “Because it’s not required under their state’s law.”
A data breach can also impact consumers and clients.
“They’re going to use it to impersonate you,” Lee said. “They’re going to use it to open up accounts in your name. Not to take your existing account, but to go and find new ways of pretending to be you.”
The ITRC’s report found criminals targeted industries that carry a lot of data, such as healthcare and financial services
Lee shared several ways businesses and individuals can protect and prepare themselves against a data breach:
- Recognize you can be a target
- Make sure staff is trained to recognize a phishing attack or when someone is trying to gain unauthorized access into your system
- Keep track of your software and have protection against malware
- Remove any excess or residual data from your systems
- Freeze your credit if you’ve become a victim of a data breach
- Make sure you regularly update passwords on your accounts
- Keep all of your software up to date
- Maintain high quality security software
- Use a multi factor authentication app on your smartphone
“The bad guys want emails, log ins and passwords because they know the vast majority of the time, people reuse the same password and login on every account,” Lee noted. “And once that’s compromised, they have access to everything you have.”
Copyright 2023 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.