TEMPE, Ariz., Jan. 5, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Personally Identifiable Information – we hand it over every day. Identity thieves know we give it out and they know who we give it to. This is why 590 data breaches in 2010, affecting a reported 11 million Americans, were made public by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. With each January dubbed "National Financial Wellness Month," consumers need to recognize that their financial wellness may not always be within their control.
"From account passwords to phone numbers and Social Security numbers, we are asked to share our personal information nearly every day," said Todd Davis, Chairman and CEO of LifeLock, Inc., the nation's premier provider of proactive identity theft protection. "Each time we hand over these key pieces of our personal information, we increase our vulnerability to identity theft."
The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse reports that the 590 data breaches in 2010 was an increase from the 250 data breaches reported in 2009. The increase in breaches from 2009 to 2010 can be seen in government and/or military agencies doubling the number of reported data breaches and financial and insurance institutions tripling the number of reported breaches.
"Just like thieves rob banks because that's where the money is, identity thieves target government, military, financial and insurance agencies because of the large amounts of personal information they hold," said Davis. "In order to bring to light these issues where consumers are vulnerable, LifeLock has made a significant investment in educating consumers, law enforcement and our elected officials to the risks and solutions surrounding this crime."
According to the report "2009 Annual Study: Cost of a Data Breach" published by the Ponemon Institute in January 2010, the average organizational cost of a data breach was $6.75 million, or an average of $204 per record lost. Actively monitoring unregulated and file-sharing networks for personally identifiable information, the LifeLock Personal Breach Detection™ service searches for online risks of member data. If detected, LifeLock alerts its members by e-mail to help protect against accidental disclosures.
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LifeLock, Inc. () is an industry leader in proactive identity theft protection. Since 2005, LifeLock has been providing consumers with the tools and confidence they need to help protect themselves from identity theft. The company has a strong focus on educating consumers and working with law enforcement and elected officials to better understand the increasing threats of identity theft. A multiple award-winning organization, LifeLock has been recognized by AlwaysOn to the Top Global Company 250 list, by Arizona Corporate Excellence as Arizona's Fastest Growing Company, and most recently by the American Business Awards as having the Best New Product or Service of the Year for the LifeLock Identity Alert™ system.
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