Centrify: One Third of Americans Victims of Identity Theft
About one out of every three Americans has likely been the victim of identity theft, according to a recent study from Centrify, a unified identity management solution provider.
The study, which polled 1,000 Americans about their confidence in the strength and security of their online passwords, revealed that 81 percent of respondents were equally concerned or very concerned about the possibility of having their identities and credit card information stolen through online activity.
The study also found that one out of three respondents have either definitely or very likely been the victim of identity theft, with 52 percent of whom stating it took more than a month to fix their issue, according to Centrify. About one out of five victims said their issue took more than 10 hours to solve.
Forty-four percent of identity theft victims said they had to spend their own money to resolve the issue, with 31 percent having to spend more than $100 to resolve their cases.
“With so much of our time spent online, the security of our personal information, and more importantly our identities, is being put at risk on a daily basis,” said Mark Weiner, CMO of Centrify, in a statement. “According to our survey, online purchases were the top reason users thought they became victims of identity theft, underscoring the importance of having confidence in one’s own online security.
“Consumers have very little faith in the absolute security of their passwords, as just 12 percent believe those passwords are very secure, regardless of the amount and type of characters used. Being able to manage our password security is crucial,” said Weiner.
Cybercrime was listed as the third-most pressing concern for 75 percent of respondents, with email spam and privacy of social networks also ranking among the top responses. Cyberbullying was of the least concern to respondents, with only 41 percent of consumers considering it a top priority, according to the survey. While all participants expressed concern over having their identities, financial information and social networking information compromised, respondents with the highest “digital footprint” were the most concerned over potential data breaches.
Only 18 percent of respondents believed transactions with a retail institution would lead to them being the victim of identity theft, while 14 percent said they believed transactions with a financial institution were likely to cause data loss. Naturally, respondents with the most knowledge of the factors leading to cybercrimes were more likely to say they have been victims of identity theft, including IT workers, online shoppers and those with higher salaries, according to the study.
Although many consumers were somewhat confident their passwords could not be hacked by a computer program, respondents with low digital footprints and those who came from blue-collar environments or were based in the Midwest were less confident in their password security than any other group.
The same study was also conducted with 1,000 respondents from the United Kingdom and yielded similar results.