Consumers Still Not Protecting Their Identity

October 30, 2013, Written By Lynn Oldshue

Experian’s ProtectMyID released a study last week in honor of national identity theft protection week. It showed that consumers are still vulnerable to ID theft both online and offline, and most of them are not doing enough to protect themselves.

93% of adults in the survey said that identity theft is a growing problem, but only 22% said the chance of someone else having their information is very small. 69% of consumers feel that they are doing enough to protect their identities, but 23% admitted to leaving their purses or wallets unattended while in restaurants.

The vulnerability is even more significant online. 89% of adults said they take steps to secure their digital information, but only 37% use unique passwords when creating online accounts. Even worse, only 55% of consumers check to see if a site is secure when shopping online.

Adults willingly post their personal information online, making them more susceptible to identity theft. 60% reveal their educational background, 44% show their birth date, and 36% post their employer information on Facebook or Twitter.

29% of the surveyed population admitted to carrying their Social Security cards with them at all times, and 46% admitted to using their Social Security numbers on job applications and medical forms. While this may be unavoidable, it could lead to danger if those documents get into the wrong hands.

Simply put, Americans are aware of a problem they are not willing to address. They acknowledge the fact that their identity is at risk, yet they fail to take steps necessary to protect it. Be very careful with your actions, both online and offline. You may be surprised just how exposed your personal information is.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of October 30, 2013. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.