Over the past few years smartphones have become the number one gadgets throughout the world, as technological breakthrough allow these sleek tools to comprise a number of functions. But as useful smartphones are there’s one aspect that should make users think twice. A recent study shows that smartphones might be the primary cause for surging identity thefts.
On Wednesday, research firm Javelin Strategy & Research released a very interesting study regarding one of the present day’s main issues: identity theft. It is the fastest growing felony in the United States and as hard as authorities try to prevent it from happening, somehow identity thefts are still on the rise. Whether we’re talking about internet identity theft or credit card fraud the fact remains: this is a serious matter.
The Javelin Strategy study, called 2012 Identity Fraud Report: Social Media and Mobile Forming the New Fraud Frontier, showed that last year the cases of identity theft have risen by 13 percent. As a result, researchers estimate that more than 11.6 million adults were subjected to some form of identity fraud throughout the United States in 2011.
One particular aspect became obvious with Javelin Strategy’s new report. Criminals have changed their focus from credit card fraud to smartphones and social media. Basically, since both consumers and credit card companies have increased their protection against such scenarios, identity thieves found a setting where people are a lot loose with their private data.
Javelin founder and President Jim Van Dyke said: “The message is not that people should let their guard down. The challenge that we have is that criminals often change faster than everyday consumers or businesses”.
Van Dyke added that “consumers must be vigilant and in control of their personal data as they adopt new mobile and social technologies in order to not make it easier for fraudsters to perpetrate crimes”.
According to the report, people using LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and Facebook are more prone to identity fraud. Still, it seems that even those that have their profiles open to the public don’t expose much of their personal information.
Meanwhile, smartphone users have a 1/3 higher likelihood of identity fraud than the general public. As stated by the data, 7 percent of smartphone owners have already been victims of identity fraud.