Identity Theft Common for Data Breach Victims

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In the digital world, a new generation of web hackers is still emerging. International hacking operations and credit card fraud operations are becoming more common each year, with hundreds of millions of dollars being lost. Corporations worldwide are continually improving their website defenses and credit card companies are developing new technologies to counteract hackers and thieves. However, massive data breaches still happen each year, and new studies show that this often leads to identity theft.

Data Breach Affects Millions in 2012

New reports show that 16 million Americans were victims of online data breaches last year. A data breach is defined as an illegal hacking operation where victims’ personal and financial information is exposed within a website’s database. Of these 16 million victims, 4.4 million of them also suffered from identity theft. This 25% of data breach victims were informed that their Social Security, credit card, or bank account numbers were stolen and were being used by imposters. This recent data proves that significant steps must be taken by consumers, merchants, and credit card companies alike to stop data breaches and identity theft before they begin.

Identity Theft Prevention Tips

Preventing identity theft is easy for merchants and consumers to do. By taking a few simple steps, consumers can secure their personal information online and merchants can protect their databases from hackers.

For Consumers

Consumers should be aware of the whereabouts of their personal and financial information at all times. Being vigilant about this could protect you in case of a data breach.

  • Watch Social Media Accounts—Social media is quickly becoming the preferred method of communication and interaction over the internet. As these sites become more central to our everyday lives, it is easy to include more of your information on your account or profile. Be sure to not post too much personal information on these sites, as they may suffer a data breach.

  • Shop Secured Sites Only—E-Commerce is booming, but all consumers should make sure their financial information is not at risk while shopping online. Always check the payment pages on e-commerce sites and see if they are secured before entering your payment information.

  • Identity Theft Prevention Services—Invest in services that will protect your social security number from hackers. With data breaches and identity theft a constant threat, it may be worth the cost to have peace of mind and know your information is secure at all times.

For Merchants

All merchants should take the necessary steps to protect their website and their customers. Like consumers, merchants can take several simple steps to stop data breaches before they happen.

  • PCI Compliance--Making sure your website is up-to-date with the latest PCI compliance standards is the first step you should take in preventing identity theft. This will ensure that your payment gateway is protected and your customers’ payment information is kept secure.

  • SSL Certificates--Obtaining SSL certificates can improve your site’s security and provide you with a secured payment page. Consumers will see this and feel more comfortable when shopping on your site.

  • Credit Card Fraud Prevention Software--Making smart investments in credit card fraud protection software can benefit you in the long run by ensuring you will not fall victim to data breaches. Go the extra mile and seek help from fraud protection services.

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About Instabill

Instabill is a global merchant services provider. In addition to providing retail and e-commerce merchants with affordable and reliable merchant accounts, we seek to inform all consumers and merchants about identity theft and credit card fraud prevention. Through our chargeback prevention site as well as the Instabill blog, we offer useful tips and strategies to stop identity theft and credit card fraud before they happen. If you have questions on how you can better protect your personal information from data breaches, or if you are interested in applying for Instabill’s industry-leading merchant services, you can contact us online by filling out the brief form at the bottom of this page, or call 1-800-318-2713 to speak with a live representative.