The exact number of accounts that have been exposed is difficult to pin down because there are companies such as AOL and eBay that haven't been completely transparent about their security breaches. But according to research done by CNNMoney, in the last 12 months hackers have exposed the personal information of 110 million Americans. Recent cyber-attacks on major companies have many of us on edge. 70 million Target customers' personal information and 40 million credit and debit cards were compromised. 33 million Adobe user credentials and more than 3 million stolen bank cards, nearly 5 million Snapchat users' accounts were hacked and potentially all of eBay's 148 million customers' credentials have been exposed.
The number of people whose personal information have been hacked this year alone is shocking. According to CNNMoney, about half of the nation's adults have been affected. Paul Norse with Security Center USA, works daily to protect people's privacy. He says the part of this research that hits home is that fact that predominantly these threats occur internally. Hacking is done by employees, family members, friends and even co-workers.
"These are generally done internally," said Norse. "So from our aspect as a consumer the only real thing that we can do is monitor our accounts closely and alert the proper authority. On the other side it's really the businesses end to protect our information. And a firm part that we need to do as Americans is holding these people accountable."
First For You, Norse says consumers should take a quick look at credit score monthly or quarterly, review bank statements and alert the authorities of fraudulent activity. Also carry cash when you can.
Norse says identity theft is the largest growing crime in America it's pretty rampant at this point and likely the problem won't be solved soon.
So it's up to all of us to be vigilant.