It’s a fact: Data breaches can happen in any locale. Tiny towns. Big cities. Rural regions. Metropolitan meccas. Hackers can find their way in anywhere and before you know it your identity information could be out everywhere. According to a U.S. study conducted by WalletHub, five states are the most vulnerable when it comes to hacking incidents and identity theft.
Taking into account a number of factors such as identity-theft complaints per capita and the average loss per theft, the study compiled a list of five states where hacking can happen in the blink of an eye — and with the click of a button.
Don’t live in a state of ignorant bliss…
Five States Most Vulnerable to Identity Theft
2. Rhode Island
3. District of Columbia
Five States Ranked In Order Of Highest Online Identity Theft Loss
2. Rhode Island
4. New York
And you may find this fact to be cold comfort: The lowest average loss amount due to online identity theft occurs in South Dakota. Hats off to that state (but maybe not, given that the state’s average high temperature in winter is a chilly 26 degrees).
With just a few easy steps you can put yourself in a better position to halt hacking. Be diligent about creating strong passwords and don’t rely on the same password for all of your accounts or online activity. If you do a lot of online shopping, be mindful of which vendors appear legitimate as opposed to those that seem like fly-by-night operations.
And don’t underestimate the value of a credit monitoring service. Some monitoring services are free but you might not want to make cost your only criteria for choosing the one that’s best for you. Look for a service that offers identity-theft insurance, monthly credit reports, and notifications if someone attempts to apply for credit in your name.
Armed with the right information, you’re likely to find yourself in a better of state of mind when it comes to protecting both your privacy and your identity.