SAN DIEGO, Calif. – September 10, 2018 – Today, the Identity Theft Resource Center®, a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity crime, unveiled the findings from a timely study that was conducted in order to better understand how the Equifax data breach impacted individuals and to evaluate whether consumer behaviors have changed since first hearing of the breach, one year ago. The Aftermath: Equifax One Year Later discovered that nearly 90 percent of respondents reported that they experienced adverse feelings or emotions – beyond the financial impacts. Of those, 81 percent of respondents said they felt worried or anxious, 76.85 felt angry, 65.7 percent felt violated and 50.96 percent felt unsafe.

“The Aftermath Survey, our signature victim impact report, gives us the opportunity to understand how these incidents leave victims feeling emotionally and psychologically,” said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “It was important that we gauge the emotional, psychological and physical impacts of the Equifax breach on those that had their personally identifying information compromised. And those that were impacted by the Equifax incident are reporting other aspects that correlate closely with those of victims of identity crimes.”

In light of this, respondents also indicated the actions they are currently taking in order to protect their identity with almost half stating that they are still using the free monitoring provided by Equifax. Other actions victims took include the following: paying for credit monitoring or identity protection services, having freezes placed on their credit reports, using strong passwords on all accounts, not providing personal information without asking how it’s used and stored and using a safe or safety deposit box.

“It’s not surprising that only 21 percent of respondents reported they had seen unusual activity on their credit report following this major data breach,” said Susan Grant, director of Consumer Protection and Privacy at Consumer Federation of America. “What many people don’t realize is that thieves will often delay using their victims’ information until after the free credit monitoring provided by the breached entity has expired. Consumers should take advantage of their new right to freeze their credit reports for free because it’s one of the most effective ways to protect themselves from new account fraud and other problems that typically result from data breaches.”

Additional findings include:

  • Nearly 60 percent of respondents said they took advantage of the free services offered to them such as credit monitoring after the Equifax breach, while 13.43 percent said they don’t remember if they did or not.
  • Of the 21 percent of respondents who indicated they had seen unusual activity after the breach, 3.53 percent noted having either state or federal taxes filed fraudulently in their name and about 10 percent had some sort of medical identity issue including receiving a medical bill or collection notice for services they never received, learning that medical records were compromised, or discovering another person’s information on their medical records.
  • Other findings including aspects of the emotional / psychological impacts are available by downloading the full report available now.

To access the full The Aftermath: Equifax One Year Later with additional findings, please go here. For more information on the Identity Theft Resource Center and the how it assists victims of identity crime, visit www.idtheftcenter.org

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Methodology

The “Equifax Breach Aftermath” survey was distributed to Americans online. This sample provides a basis for evaluating trends in impact, behavior, and habits. Survey population: 881 U.S. respondents online. Responses were collected from August 19, 2018 – August 30, 2018. As a part of the survey panel, ITRC asked participants to share if they were a victim in the Equifax data breach, if they were a victim of identity theft prior to the Equifax breach, how they found out they were a victim, how they were impacted by having their information stolen, if they took advantage of credit monitoring, and any feelings or issues they experiences after the breach. Lastly, ITRC asked respondents to assess if their behavior has changed since becoming a victim of the Equifax breach.

About the Identity Theft Resource Center

Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud, and privacy issues. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its call center, website, social media channels, live chat feature and ID Theft Help app. For more information, visit: http://www.idtheftcenter.org

Contact: Charity Lacey, VP of Communications

CLacey@idtheftcenter.org

858-634-6390

 

SAN DIEGO, January 25, 2018 – Today, the Identity Theft Resource Center®, a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft, and CyberScout®, released the 2017 Annual Data Breach Year-End Review. According to the review, the number of U.S. data breaches tracked in 2017 hit a new all-time high of 1,579, up 44.7 percent over last year’s record totals of 1,091 breaches.

“We’ve seen the number of identified breaches increase as a result of industries moving toward more transparency,” said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “We want to encourage businesses and government entities to continue to provide timely reports to their respective Attorney Generals so consumers can be better informed on what are the immediate and long-term impacts to their personal information by any given data breach.”

The review shows that the business sector again topped the list with 870 reported incidents, representing more than half of the overall total number of breaches, followed by the medical/healthcare sector with 374 breaches (23.7 percent of total breaches) and the banking/credit/financial sector with 134 breaches (8.5  percent of the overall total). Hacking continued to rank first in the “type of incidents” according to the review, with 59.5 percent of the breaches being identified in this category. Phishing and ransomware/malware were indicated as being the top two methods of hacking related data breaches.

“Year after year we continue to use the Annual Data Breach Year-End Review as a tool to further glean trends about the state of data breaches, or to confirm what we already know about them,” said Matt Cullina, CEO of CyberScout. “With the business sector being strongly impacted, now more than ever it’s important for organizations of all sizes to not only be prepared for a data breach, but to also be taking proactive steps to plan for the inevitability.”

Additional findings include:

  • The number of credit card numbers exposed in 2017 totaled 14,207,346, which was up 88 percent since 2016
  • More than eight times the number of Social Security numbers were exposed in 2017 than in 2016
  • The medical/healthcare sector, educational sector and government/military sectors all reflected decreases in the percentage of data breaches from 2016 figures
  • The business sector was hit the hardest by hacking, with nearly 40 percent of the breached entities identifying this type of attack as the cause for the breach

About the Identity Theft Resource Center

Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud, and privacy issues. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its call center, website, social media channels, live chat feature and ID Theft Help app. For more information, visit:http://www.idtheftcenter.org

About CyberScout

As the industry leader for over 13 years, CyberScout® has been setting the gold standard for identity and data defense services – from proactive protection and education to successful resolution. Formerly IDT911, CyberScout uses proven technology solutions, boots-on-the-ground experience and high-touch personal service to help commercial clients and individuals minimize risk and maximize recovery.  

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Contact: Kelly Dwyer
Kelly@idtheftcenter.org
858-634-6385

SAN DIEGO, January, 17, 2018 – Today, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) announced the latest version of its free mobile app was made available in the Google Play and Apple stores. The ID Theft Help app is funded by a grant from the Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and offers assistance to both victims of identity theft and consumers who want to protect their identity.

ITRC ID Theft Help mobile app offers new features to help consumers protect themselves against identity theft.

“The public is aware of the risks of identity theft, but are left with few free resources to help them should they become a victim,” says Eva Velasquez, President / CEO of the ITRC. “The ITRC’s ID Theft Help app gives users access to this help, as well as a wealth of resources to protect themselves from identity theft, all in a convenient platform.”

New features include interactive quizzes to assist consumers in recognizing their level of risk of identity theft and push notifications. Notifications will inform consumers of risks to their personal information, such as scams and data breaches, as well as reminders for easy solutions to minimize.

The app continues to offer resources for users at no cost, including direct access to victim advisors to guide the consumer through assessing his/her risk of identity theft and personalized assistance to mitigate cases of identity theft. It also includes a case-log feature which provides identity theft victims with up-to-date contact information for financial institutions, government agencies and law enforcement and an exportable document of all actions taken to resolve any potential identity theft.

The ITRC’s ID Theft Help app can be downloaded, free of charge, from the Apple Store and Google Play. More information about the app and its development can be found by visiting theITRC’s website.

About the Identity Theft Resource Center

Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud, and privacy issues. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its call center, website, social media channels, live chat feature and ID Theft Help app. For more information, visit: http://www.idtheftcenter.org

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High-resolution images available upon request

Media Contact: 

Identity Theft Resource Center
Kelly Dwyer
858-634-6385
Kelly@idtheftcenter.org

DETROIT, Michigan – December 13, 2017 – Burns & Wilcox, North America’s leading wholesale insurance broker and underwriting manager, recognized throughout the industry for its expertise in Cyber Liability, today announced a partnership with the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC). ITRC is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization established to support victims of identity theft. The partnership will provide retail brokers, agents, clients, and partners of Burns & Wilcox with a prominent resource to help navigate a wide variety of cyber breaches.

“As leaders in the insurance industry, there is an inherent responsibility to educate, engage, and protect the clients we do business with,” said Alan Jay Kaufman, Chairman, President, and CEO, H.W. Kaufman Group, of which Burns & Wilcox is its largest subsidiary. “In a digital era, where business is most commonly executed online, connecting with organizations like the ITRC is crucial in maintaining strong levels of trust, guidance, and education in the industry.”

ITRC was established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cyber security, scams/fraud, and privacy issues. ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education throughout the United States.

“We are thrilled to partner with Burns & Wilcox, a well-respected company in the specialty insurance industry. The partnership gives us the opportunity to reach more people in this particular sector,” said Eva Velasquez, President and CEO, ITRC. “Together we hope to increase educational awareness by teaching best cyber practices and providing resources on how to recover from an attack, which aligns with our mission. After all, it is not a matter of if someone will become a victim of cyber fraud, it’s when.”

This partnership comes on the heels of the launch of an exclusive, cutting-edge Personal Cyber insurance endorsement by Burns & Wilcox, which includes ransomware and cyber extortion coverage.

For more information, visit www.burnsandwilcox.com.

About H.W. Kaufman Group and Burns & Wilcox

Burns & Wilcox is the industry’s leading wholesale insurance broker and underwriting manager internationally recognized for its expertise in commercial and professional liability, property, transportation, marine and personal insurance.

Burns & Wilcox is a member of H.W. Kaufman Group, which has over 60 offices across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom and employs more than 2,000 professionals. Founded in 1969 and headquartered in Metro Detroit, Kaufman also includes: Burns & Wilcox Brokerage, Burns & Wilcox Canada, Burns & Wilcox Re, Atain Insurance Companies, Afirm, Global Excess Partners, R.B. Jones, Royal Premium, Minuteman Adjusters, and London-based, Chesterfield Insurance Brokers, Lochain Patrick, and Cranbrook Underwriting. More information can be found at www.burnsandwilcox.com or www.hwkaufman.com.

About the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC)

Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud, and privacy issues. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its call center, website, social media channels, live chat feature and ID Theft Help app. For more information, visit: http://www.idtheftcenter.org

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – December 7, 2017 – The Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC), a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft, today announced a collaborative sponsorship with Synchrony Financial, one of the nation’s premier consumer financial services company, to increase awareness and foster further education around identity theft and related topics.

By working together, the companies plan to not only bring forth more educational efforts around identity theft in general, but they hope to uncover more information, which is currently not as readily available, about child identity theft. Synchrony Financial is the only financial institution currently supporting the ITRC.

“In addition to countless individuals, identity theft is something that impacts every single industry sector,” said Eva Velasquez, CEO and president of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “All stakeholders, including the financial services industry, need to be united in these efforts to reduce the harm caused by identity theft, which is why we are excited to be working so closely with Synchrony Financial. The ITRC appreciates their monetary support to help us meet our mission and we are enthusiastic about the endless opportunities that will be created through our collaborative efforts.”

“Aligning our resources with those of the ITRC is a natural fit for Synchrony and we are privileged to sponsor them in their efforts to not only increase awareness of, but also help slow the growth of identity theft and its impact on our society,” said Rick Cooney, SVP of Fraud at Synchrony Financial. “We look forward to collaborating with the ITRC to explore solutions to address the escalation in identity theft, in particular synthetic identity theft which can disproportionally affect children.”

The ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education nationwide. Partnering with companies like Synchrony Financial ensures that these crucial services can remain free of charge to those they serve.

 

About the Identity Theft Resource Center
Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud, and privacy issues. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its call center, website, social media channels, live chat feature and ID Theft Help app. For more information, visit:http://www.idtheftcenter.org/

About Synchrony Financial
Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF) is one of the nation’s premier consumer financial services companies. Their roots in consumer finance trace back to 1932, and today they are the largest provider of private label credit cards in the United States based on purchase volume and receivables. They provide a range of credit products through programs they have established with a diverse group of national and regional retailers, local merchants, manufacturers, buying groups, industry associations and healthcare service providers to help generate growth for their partners and offer financial flexibility to their customers. Through their partners’ over 365,000 locations across the United States and Canada, and their websites and mobile applications, they offer their customers a variety of credit products to finance the purchase of goods and services. Synchrony Financial offers private label credit cards, Dual Card™, and general purpose co-branded credit cards, promotional financing and installment lending, loyalty programs and FDIC-insured savings products through Synchrony Bank. For more information: at www.synchronyfinancial.com

 

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Media Contacts: 

Identity Theft Resource Center
Kelly Dwyer
858-634-6385
Kelly@idtheftcenter.org

Synchrony Financial
Lisa Lanspery
203-585-6143

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – October 20, 2017 – The Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC), a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft, today announced six sub-grantees have been competitively selected to lead new coalitions.

In addition, a partnership was established between the ITRC and the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC), to aid ITRC in supporting the coalition-building efforts. These sub-awards will be awarded by ITRC, as part of the National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network Expansion (NITVAN II) grant awarded to ITRC, by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office for Victims of Crime (OVC).

Each sub-grantee will be awarded up to $50,000, to help expand and improve victim assistance services in their respective states/regions. Through the development and enhancement of these coalitions, victim service providers will be better able to address the rights and needs of victims of identity theft and cybercrime.

The funding for this nationwide project is derived from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), through the Crime Victims Fund. This unique fund is financed by fines and penalties paid by convicted federal offenders, not from tax dollars.

“By working so closely with victims, we have witnessed how devastating the impact of identity theft can be on each individual- physically, financially and even emotionally,” said Eva Velasquez, CEO and President of the Identity Theft Resource Center.” We are thrilled to partner with six dedicated coalitions who share a common goal to reduce the harm done to victims when they experience identity theft stemming from everything from phishing emails to stolen wallets to data breaches.”

These new coalitions are building on the efforts began by the previous NITVAN coalitions, expanding the network of support available to victim service providers and the victims they assist. Through this grant, these six coalitions, along with the ITRC, NCVC, and the DOJ, OVC, will be able to help more people in more ways, across the country.

Sub-Grantees include the following entities:

Attorney General, Massachusetts

Minnesota Alliance on Crime

Iowa Organization for Victim Assistance

Elder Law of Michigan, Inc.

The National Cybersecurity Society

Cybercrime Support Network

For additional information on forming or joining a coalition in your area, please visit: http://www.nitvan.org/

 

About the Identity Theft Resource Center

Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud, and privacy issues. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its call center, website, social media channels, live chat feature and ID Theft Help app. For more information, visit:http://www.idtheftcenter.org 

Contact:
Kelly Dwyer
Identity Theft Resource Center
858-634-6385
Kelly@idtheftcenter.org

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – October 2, 2017 – The Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC), a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft, today released its Identity Theft: The Aftermath 2017 report that explores the impact of identity theft victimization.

The report, which has been conducted intermittently since 2003, is compiled from voluntary responses of victims who contacted the ITRC for assistance in 2016. This year’s report shows that three-quarters of the survey respondents expressed they were severely distressed over the misuse or attempted misuse of their personal information.

The survey also revealed nearly one-fourth of the participants sought professional help to manage the emotional and physical symptoms they suffered as a result of this crime, while 13 percent said they would have sought assistance but were unable to afford it.

“We’ve often found that when people think of identity theft, they think about the financial ramifications associated with this crime on its victims, not the emotional impact,” said Eva Velasquez,CEO and President of the ITRC. “In looking at the Aftermath results, we continue to see the emotional devastation caused by this crime, which further reiterates the need for all stakeholders – consumers, industry, and government – to work together to influence change and ultimately reduce the amount of people impacted every year.

Similar to prior years, the survey responses help the ITRC capture quantitative data pertaining to identity theft to better understand the impact of this crime from the victims themselves. ITRC also uses the responses to identify trends that may influence identity theft issues year after year.

Additional findings include:

Lost Opportunity Costs: In dealing with their identity theft case, nearly one-third of respondents indicated they spent time away from other life experiences, like hobbies or a vacation, with more than 25 percent indicating they had to borrow money from family or friends. Some respondents reported having to take time off work or spending time away from family (both at 22 percent) while others found it necessary to relocate or move or sell possessions (both at 15.3 percent).

Financial Effects: 38.2 percent of respondents indicated they were either unable to obtain credit cards or were denied a credit card due to their identity theft incident, which is up 6.4 percent over last year’s figures. More specifically, 34.2 percent were unable to obtain a loan, 27.6 percent found themselves in debt, 15.8 percent were unable to rent an apartment or find housing, and 3.3 were forced to declare bankruptcy due to this crime.

Relationships with Others: Respondents noted they are now less trusting of family and friends at 15.9 percent and 15.2 percent, respectively.

About the Identity Theft Resource Center
Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud, and privacy issues. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its call center, website, social media channels, live chat feature and ID Theft Help app. For more information, visit:http://www.idtheftcenter.org

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Contact: Kelly Dwyer
Kelly@idtheftcenter.org
858-634-6385

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – September 18, 2017 – The Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC), a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft, today announced a new campaign pushing for free credit freezes for consumers.

The #FreeFromAll3 Campaign aims to persuade the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and Transunion, to waive fees for an initial credit freeze and one thaw and refreeze per year for all Americans. The campaign comes in the wake of the Equifax data breach, which exposed the Social Security numbers of 143 million Americans, leaving them vulnerable to identity theft.

“Credit freezes are an important tool in the fight against identity theft. While credit freezes are not right for everyone, the issue of cost should not factor into a consumer’s decision on whether or not to utilize one” says Eva Velasquez, CEO and President of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “It is our hope that the credit reporting agencies will consider this and allow consumers to protect their identity, no matter their financial situation.”

The ITRC has seen historically unprecedented traffic to its victim assistance call center since the Equifax data breach became widespread public knowledge on September 7, 2017. The organization feels the #FreeFromAll3 Campaign is one way of putting some measure of control back into the hands of consumers.

A Change.org petition has been created to gather support for the #FreeFromAll3 Campaign and outlines the position of ITRC and allows consumers to voice their support directly to the CEOs of the three major credit reporting agencies. 

About the Identity Theft Resource Center

Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud, and privacy issues. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its call center, website, social media channels, live chat feature and ID Theft Help app. For more information, visit:http://www.idtheftcenter.org

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Media Contact: 

Identity Theft Resource Center
Kelly Dwyer
858-634-6385
Kelly@idtheftcenter.org

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – August 22, 2017 – The Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC), a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft, today announced a partnership with Experian®, a leading global information services company, to further enhance consumer education.

Experian and the ITRC are both committed to helping consumers become better stewards of their own sensitive personal information to protect their identity. Through this partnership, the companies hope to broaden public awareness in the understanding of identity theft and other related issues while also educating individuals about the importance of checking their credit reports for accuracy. Errors on credit reports may be an indication of identity theft.

“We know from our experience that education about identity theft is a necessary, but often overlooked component of financial literacy offerings,” said Eva Velasquez, CEO and president of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “We are thrilled to partner with Experian in order to bridge this gap. By working together, we can better educate consumers about how credit reporting agencies work and why they play a crucial role when it comes to safeguarding their identity.”

“We appreciate the tireless work of the ITRC to help consumers protect themselves from identity theft and resolve fraud issues if they are victims,” said Guy Abramo, president of Experian Consumer Services, which offers the company’s IdentityWorks protection product. “By collaborating, we can reach more consumers with important education about this increasingly important topic and hopefully stop cases of identity theft from happening in the first place. If consumers do become victims, however, they can turn to ITRC and Experian for support.”

The ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education nationwide. Working with partners like Experian ensures that these crucial services can remain free of charge to those they serve.

About the Identity Theft Resource Center

Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud, and privacy issues. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its call center, website, social media channels, live chat feature and ID Theft Help app. For more information, visit:http://www.idtheftcenter.org 

About Experian

Experian® is the world’s leading global information services company. During life’s big moments — from buying a home or a car to sending a child to college, to growing a business by connecting with new customers — we empower consumers and our clients to manage their data with confidence. We help individuals to take financial control and access financial services, businesses to make smarter decisions and thrive, lenders to lend more responsibly, and organizations to prevent identity fraud and crime.

We have more than 16,000 people operating across 37 countries and every day we’re investing in new technologies, talented people and innovation to help all our clients maximize every opportunity. We are listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and are a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

Learn more at www.experianplc.com or visit our global content hub at our global news blog for the latest news and insights from the Group. 


Media Contacts: 

Identity Theft Resource Center
Kelly Dwyer
858-634-6385
Kelly@idtheftcenter.org

Experian
Sandra Bernardo
949-567-3676
sandra.bernardo@experianinteractive.com

BETHESDA, Md., Aug. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Generali Global Assistance (“The Company”), a leader in the assistance industry since its founding in 1963 and part of the global Generali Group, and the developer of a proprietary and innovative identity protection platform,  today published a white paper titled, “Data Protection: Employer Obligations and Motivations.”

The Company developed the paper in conjunction with the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft, as a way to deepen their partnership by continuing to provide educational resources focusing on identity protection and identity theft.

The white paper highlights the ever-expanding threats to employee data security, including hacking and spearphishing, among other nefarious techniques.  The ITRC, which has been tracking data breaches since 2005, found that nearly 800 breaches have been reported in 2017 year-to-date, with 63% of incidents resulting from hacking attacks.  The report also explores employers’ obligations to protect employee information and to implement best practices for mitigating data breaches.  Additionally, the white paper examines the types of employee information that businesses collect, how data is compromised, current data protection legislation, and more in order to provide business leaders with a more comprehensive understanding of tools and methods available to protect employee data.

Please find the full white paper available for download here.

Paige Schaffer, President and COO of Generali Global Assistance’s Identity and Digital Protection Services Global Unit, commented on today’s news, “With 2017 on pace to reach an all-time high of approximately 1,500 reported data breaches, businesses need to be more prepared than ever to mitigate associated risks.  Best practices begin at the organizational level, but it is also critical for companies to ensure that their employees are adequately informed about how to protect data.  An untrained workforce that is not aware of the latest risks and response tactics can represent the greatest threat to a company’s security, and therefore education should be a key aspect of every organization’s cybersecurity strategy.”

Failure to properly protect data can have numerous negative consequences for an organization beyond the financial fallout, including reputational damage and a loss of employee confidence.  According to Generali Global Assistance and the ITRC, companies must begin building the foundation of a strong cybersecurity program now, as the frequency and severity of identity theft and other cybercrime continue to increase.  Offering an identity protection service as an employee benefit is one solution that can demonstrate a company’s commitment to its workforce while keeping their information secure.  Organizations should also distribute free identity theft protection and resolution resources that are available from the ITRC, among other organizations.

Eva Velasquez, President and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center, concluded, “Many employees have an expectation that their employers will be good stewards in the protection of their sensitive personal information.  Given that data breaches are increasing at an unprecedented pace, it is crucial that organizations put procedures in place to protect this information and create a culture that stresses information protection best practices.”

For more identity theft resources, tips and commentary, follow Generali Global Assistance on Twitter and LinkedIn.

To learn more about Generali Global Assistance’s identity protection offering, please visit http://us.generaliglobalassistance.com/solutions/identity-protection/.

About Generali Global Assistance
Generali Global Assistance has been a leading provider of assistance services and travel insurance for more than 25 years. The Company offers a full suite of innovative, vertically integrated identity protection solutions, travel insurance and emergency services, and beneficiary companion services.  Generali Global Assistance is part of the multinational Generali Group, which for over 185 years has created a presence in 60 countries with over 76,000 employees.  Our success has been built on the foundation of trust that clients have placed in our ability to provide assistance in the most difficult of circumstances.

About the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC)
Founded in 1999, the ITRC is a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud, and privacy issues. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its call center, website, social media channels, live chat feature and ID Theft Help app. For more information, visit: http://www.idtheftcenter.org

GGA Media Contact
Jay A. Morakis
M Group Strategic Communications (for Generali Global Assistance North America)
+1 212.266.0191
jmorakis@mgroupsc.com

GGA Marketing Contact
Eugenia Buggs
VP, Global Marketing, Identity and Digital Protection Services Global Unit
+1 240.330.1091
eugenia.buggs@us.generaliglobalassistance.com

ITRC Media Contact
Kelly Dwyer
Director of Communications
+1 858.634.6385
kelly@idtheftcenter.org