I know that even as you’re reading this, you’re still trying to find an answer to the question “is Jon Snow dead or not,” so let me start by telling you this: Winter is coming.
Now here’s why:
$16 billion were stolen from 12.7 million U.S. consumers in 2014, according to The 2015 Identity Fraud Study released by Javelin Strategy & Research. That’s a new identity theft victim at every TWO seconds. 15% of all identity thefts are carried out online. The number of people falling victim to online theft in the UK grew by 31% to 32,058 in the first three months of 2015, compared to the same period in 2014.
Another study shows that over 2 Million Americans are victims of Medical Identity Theft, an increase by nearly 22% from last year. And let’s not forget about the recent Anthem breach, the largest healthcare breach in U.S. history, which could affect up to 80 million Americans; the recent username and password theft from Forbes.com; the Kickstarter users’ contact info hack and the massive data breach at Target.
These numbers are scary and the future is not looking at all bright. I told you winter was coming. Jokes aside, online identity theft is a real and close threat to each and every one of us and it’s only going to increase with the boom in online connectivity. So it’s time we talked really seriously about this.