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Data breaches trend upward for 2019

Published: Mar. 11, 2020 at 9:20 PM CDT
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How many times have you received a notification that you were part of a data breach? The National "Identity Theft Resource Center" has released a new report, which shows breaches were trending up again in 2019.

That trend upward was after a decline in 2018.

According to the non-profit organization's report, there was a 17% rise in data breaches last year, with millions of records accessed by hackers.

The ITRC says businesses were most at fault.

There were 1,473 reported breaches in the United States last year, with businesses accounting for the most - nearly 650 breaches.

In second came the medical and health care industry.

If we look at the total number of records exposed, businesses remain at the top, with 723,931,327.

In second was banking - including credit and financial companies, with 100,641,770.

That was followed by the medical-health care industry, with 39,380,009.

In fourth was education, with 3,628,861, and the government and military was fifth, with 2,275,542.

One of the biggest trends was credential stuffing, which is where cyber criminals use stolen email addresses and passwords to try and get into various accounts.

It's a big issue because a majority of people, up to 83%, use the same password for more than one account.

So, how do you protect your information?

-Don't reuse passwords

Set-up a two-step authentication

Verify who you're sharing information with in all platforms of communication, including face-to-face.

If you didn't initiate the contact, don't give that information out. If you receive a phone call and they say it's your bank, just say "I will call you back," because you won't give them any information.

The identity theft resource center says the worst thing you can do is nothing.

If you get a notification letter saying that your data was exposed, don't ignore it. If you're a victim, the ITRC can help, and all of its services are free.