By: Ken Rapoza, Forbes
Thanks to the growing popularity of smartphones, more and more people are having their online identities stolen from cyber criminals.
Roughly 12 million Americans were victims of identity theft last year, 13% more than were reported in 2010, according to a study released on Wednesday from Javelin Strategy & Research. The dominance of smartphones and real-name social media websites like Facebook have helped contribute to the increase in ID fraud. Hackers looking for profit can not only find out where a person lives, how old they are, and where they were born, but they can break into smart phones through malicious programming and steal credit card information, running up charges.
The number of people whose information was accessed in a data breach increased by 67% in 2011, but that’s mostly skewed by Sony Play Station data breach last year. Someone whose personal information is taken in a data breach is nearly 10 times more likely to fall prey to ID thieves.