Online identity breaches increase in September

Online identity breaches increase in September

The number of publicly known data breaches increased considerably in September, as more than 10 million online identity records were lost, according to an identity protection company.

Based on the company’s September report, 54 disclosed data security incidents occurred during the month, up from 44 breaches in August, when 678,614 records were compromised. Overall this year, 26.5 percent of breaches have been the result of hacking, the report said.

"While cybercrime is becoming more sophisticated, consumers can be more sophisticated as well," said Jeff Paradise, an identity theft expert. "Watch for changes in credit scores, credit cards and more. If you see changes, take aggressive action. Stopping identity theft in its tracks can take minutes, restoring an identity can take years."

According to the report, the large increase in online identity theft was a result of three major breaches, with more than 1 million records stolen during each incident.

The National Cyber Security Alliance has suggested that internet users protect their online identity by keeping browser and anti virus software up-to-date, checking credit reports, using secure passwords and researching businesses before providing them with personal information. The NCSA also advised users to make sure website are encrypted and secure when making an online purchase.