There is a war being fought online between people, corporations, governments, and other organizations defending against every “black hat” hacker determined to steal data, profit from ransomware, or any other nefarious act. You could say that victims of identity theft are a casualty of this war, paying a steep financial price when fraudsters use stolen credentials like Social Security numbers and credit card accounts to create false identities.
If you haven’t been the victim of identity theft, or known someone who was, you’re fortunate because the problem has become widespread and all-too-common. In 2014, the latest year for which there’s data, 17.6 million U.S. residents above the age of 16 reported being identity theft victims. That’s 7% of the population aged 16 or older, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ data. 64% of those victims experienced direct financial loss that averaged $7,761 each.
To get a sense of just how big a number that is, consider this. In 2015, there were 17 million undergraduate students enrolled at a university in the U.S., a number that’s actually 600,000 smaller than the total number of identity theft victims. That’s a grim reminder of the importance of cybersecurity in the modern digital world.
Entefy’s enFacts are illuminating nuggets of information about the intersection of communications, artificial intelligence, security and cyber privacy, and the Internet of Things. Have an idea for an enFact? We would love to hear from you.