New York Attorney General Schneiderman has announced that his office received a record number of data breach notices in 2016.
His office received close to 1,300 reported data breaches in 2016. Those reports represented a 60 percent increase over the previous year.
In 2016, hacking accounted for more than 40% of data security breaches. 519 notices reported unauthorized outside access of computerized data.
The most frequently acquired information in 2016 was Social Security numbers and financial account information, which together accounted for 81% of breaches in New York. Other records such as driver’s license numbers (8%), date of birth (7%) and password/account information (2%) (see Figure 4) together accounted for 1,284,037 of exposed personal records in 2016.
The Attorney General’s Office recommends taking the following steps if you believe you have been victimized by a data security breach:
- User Names and Passwords: For user names and passwords, change them immediately on the relevant account and monitor the account for unusual activity. If you use the same user name or password on other accounts, change those as well.
- Credit Card Numbers: For breaches involving credit card numbers, Social Security numbers and other sensitive numbers, create an Identity Theft Report by filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and printing your Identity Theft Affidavit. You can call the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-438-4338 or complete the form online here. Use the Identity Theft Affidavit to file a police report and create your Identity Theft Report. An Identity Theft Report will help you deal with credit reporting companies, debt collectors and any fraudulent accounts that the identity thief opened in your name. You may also want to put a fraud alert and/or security freeze on your credit report by notifying each of the credit reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian). A security freeze remains on your credit file until you remove it or choose to lift it temporarily when applying for credit services.