Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Half of U.S. Adults have been hacked: Are you one of them?


AARP has estimated, nearly half of all adult Americans have been hacked in the past year.  The Better Business Bureau said 1 in 5 of all victims are college students or in their twenties.

Identity theft is exponentially rising while users aren’t realizing the true risk that is posed.

Roughly, 432 million online accounts that belong to 110 million Americans, which are half of all adults were hacked in cyber-attacks in the past year.

Consumer Reports estimates that 11 million Americans were victimized from email scams in 2013.

This year alone, there have been 260 breaches that have occurred in health facilities, exposing the sensitive data of 8 million people.

Could this be from health care facilities still using Microsoft Windows XP?  The software is no longer supported and vulnerable to zero-day exploits.

From coffee shops to corporate networks, grocery stores to airports, two-thirds of surfers have nothing to protect themselves.

AARP has launched Fraud Watch Network, where you can get access to information about how to protect yourself and stay alert on the latest tricks and scams.

The best ways to safeguard your personal data are:
  1. Don’t share if you don’t have to
  2. Monitor your finances
  3. Protect your electronic devices and accounts
  4. Leave a paper trail
  5. Don’t trust everyone
Studies have shown that from the ages of 18 to 24, in the average of 132 days, they’ve been scammed.
That’s five times larger than the national average.

This goes to show why university computers are popular targets for cyber-criminals.

This year nearly 840,000 private records were exposed in breach attacks in at least 12 universities.
Universities affected are: University of Maryland, Indiana University, Johns Hopkins University, Iowa State, University of Minnesota, Auburn University College of Business, University of Wisconsin, Loyola Law School and North Dakota University.

Also, there were 5,000 records hacked in 10 data breaches of financial institutions, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center.
Reducing identity theft includes:
  • Monitoring financing accounts
  • Keeping checkbooks and statements
  • Securely storing computers and all devices
  • Avoiding Wi-Fi networks when shopping online
  • Reading reviews before installing apps
  • Decline free game downloads, music, and screen savers
  • Adjust privacy settings for your social network sites
  • Use credit cards instead of debit cards for liability protection
  • Shredding solicitations for pre-approved credit cards
You can opt out of certain solicitations at https://www.optoutprescreen.com

For information on other scams, sign up for the Fraud Watch Network.

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Kirchheimer, Sid
Half of U.S. Adults Hacked: Are You Among Them? – AARP Blog
June 6, 2014

Kirchheimer, Sid
College Students: Ideal for ID Theft – AARP Blog

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