Data Breaches Rarely Lead To Identity Theft

from the hype-and-reality dept

Earlier this year, it seemed like you could hardly go a day or two without hearing about yet another data leak by some company or another and how everyone's data was at risk. Of course, now some are beginning to realize that very few of those data leaks actually resulted in identity theft scams. Of course, that shouldn't necessarily make anyone feel better about them. It could just mean that so much private data about people is available that your chances of being "picked" are much slimmer. Safety thanks to the ubiquity of available information just isn't that comforting.
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  1. identicon
    Pete Austin, 24 Oct 2005 @ 9:22am

    Re: Your Accounts have been Compromised

    Only 2% of accounts compromised are ever used fraudulently. We know that this figure refers to real criminal ID theft (not just information leaks) as the article goes on to say "54.1 percent of ID theft victims were able to identify how fraudsters obtained their personal information." So the 2% must include the the 10 million U.S. residents who were were victims of criminal ID theft (FTC figure).

    If 2% of the accounts compromised is over 10 million, then 100% is over 500 million. This is almost twice the resident population of the United States.

    The above doesn't change the fact that you still only have a 2% chance of being defrauded each year. Of course, maybe you plan to live a long time, in which case the odds don't look so good.

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