October 24, 2016

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The Fear of Identity Theft: Unprecedented U.S. Study Ranks it within Top 10 Fears

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
~ Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 161 to 180

It’s often said that people fear things they can’t control. This week, Chapman University published the findings of a recent survey of American Fears, asking 1,500+ respondents to rank about 65 fears across a broad range of topics. These fear categories included the government, crime, the environment, the future, technology, health, natural disasters, as well as fears of public speaking, spiders, heights, ghosts, and many other personal anxieties.

Of the usual suspects, fear of government corruption, terrorist attacks, and not having enough money for the future – ranked within the top three categories. Better financial planning and household budgeting can certainly help with the latter, but the former fears are typically out of the control of the average American. However, this is where it gets interesting! The fear of identity theft doesn’t have to be crippling – as there are measures that can be taken to help protect the most sensitive personal information. Yet, on the Top 10 Fears list it ranked as number eight. This means that more than 37% of the those surveyed ranked identity theft as something they are “very afraid” or “afraid” of.

slide from The Chapman University Survey of American Fears Wave 3

Source | The Chapman University Survey of American Fears Wave 3 (2016)

In related news, a recent government report indicated that nearly 68% of identity theft victims have no idea how their identity was stolen – and 45% didn’t even know about the theft until a financial institution contacted them [View the full infographic]. Now, that’s scary! The good news? There’s something that you can do about it.

Don’t Under Estimate the Impact of Identity Theft, Revoke the Power of the Thieves

Clearly, Americans have thought about identity theft, but have they actually thought about proactively protecting their identity? As indicated above, when identity theft happens, the majority of victims don’t have a clue about how the thief obtained their information, or even who targeted them. With an identity stolen every two seconds, it’s certainly a serious crime. However, your chances of being victimized decrease when you make the choice to open your eyes, be proactive, and become vigilant about protecting your personal information.

Take Control & Wipe Out the Fear of Identity Theft

take-control

Taking preventive measures to protect your identity is a great way to decrease your risk of becoming an identity theft victim. However, relying on your own strategies and know-how, especially in today’s connected and complex environments, is a daunting task.

Either enrolling in an identity theft protection service or asking your employer if your company offers identity protection is a much more effective approach. This way, you’ll receive ongoing monitoring, real-time alerts, and access to recovery services, which can help to remove some of the stress that comes with trying to reclaim your identity.

IdentityForce Helps You Protect What Matters Most

logo-onlyFor nearly 40 years, IdentityForce, has provided best-in-class, highly scalable, premium identity theft and privacy protection solutions to consumers, businesses, and government agencies. A pioneer in the identity theft and fraud protection industry, IdentityForce’s innovation and customer-centric approach has made the company a trusted partner for both organizations and individuals.

Whether you’re looking to protect yourself and your family, or you’re interested in adding identity theft protection as a benefit to your employees, the team at IdentityForce is ready to help.

Donna Parent

Senior Vice President of Marketing at IdentityForce
Prior to joining IdentityForce, Donna was the Vice President of Marketing at Aternity (acquired by Riverbed Technology), a leading provider of End User Experience (EUE) and application performance monitoring solutions. She also led Marketing Communications at SteamBase Systems (now part of TIBCO Software), where her work was instrumental in solidifying StreamBase’s position as the market leader of high-performance Complex Event Processing (CEP) solutions. When she’s not focused on strategic marketing initiatives, Donna enjoys spending quality time with her husband Paul, and their two sons.

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