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Identity record losses skyrocketed in September

Dec 23, 2011 Karen Umpierre

Identity theft is a growing concern in today's digitally infused economy, especially as consumers continue to disseminate private financial data and increasingly rely on electronic payment methods. A new report from protection service IdentityHawk illuminates this trend, as it found more than 10.4 million online identity records were lost in September. That figure marks a huge jump from the roughly 678,000 records in August. Publicly known breaches also surged from 44 to 54. "The huge spike in records exposed in September was due to three large breaches reported during the month, each with more than a million records," said Jeff Paradise, executive director of IdentityHawk. "However, in tracking this for the past few years, we have found it is normal for the number of total records to be sporadic from month-to-month." Consumers should remember that it only takes one breach to compromise an identity, he added. More than one-quarter of breaches are the result of hacking, underscoring the need for organizations to protect their financial information.