Are you ever uneasy about all the companies that want your social security number and other personal information? A recent study compiled by McAfee, featured on eSecurity Planet, listed the top ten most hacked industries.
While the Internet has brought great advances in the daily lives of many people it has also made the threat of cyber crime and identity theft much more likely. In the past, most personal information was kept in paper based files. Today, these files are stored electronically and more often than not these records are directly accessible via the Internet. The magnitude of the problem is staggering and the list of businesses hardest hit by identify theft covers all industries. The top ten most dangerous places to share you social security number included:
- Universities and colleges
- Banks and financial institutions
- State government
- Local government
- Federal government
- Medical businesses
- Non-profit organizations
- Technology companies
- Medical insurance and medical clinics
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) estimates that in the course of one year as many as 10 million Americans are the victims of identity theft. Although sources differ on the level of threat, the trend is undisputable in that cyber crime is increasing at an exponential rate. Without stricter laws punishing companies that expose personal information such as social security numbers and credit card numbers these security breaches will continue.