It took me a moment to understand what the woman was saying.
The Wells Fargo employee repeated herself: “It seems someone has your mother’s Social Security number. She tried to cash a check using a fake ID at one of our Texas branches. We put a stop to it, but she got away. Your mother should file a police report.”
All I could think was: Not again.
It was the second time this had happened in just a year. And the police were very little help last time. It was a chilling feeling to know people could steal your information and get away with it.
Unfortunately, my mother is just one of many — and I mean many — people who’ve suffered from getting their personal info hacked.
In fact, just last week, the credit reporting agency Equifax reported that it was the victim of a massive cyberattack — one that left the accounts of 143 million U.S customers exposed.
That means 143 million people’s Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver’s licenses were accessible. Worse yet, the credit card numbers of 209,000 consumers were accessed.
It’s one of the largest and most intrusive breaches ever.
But as big as this breach was … these days, it’s nothing terribly new.
Hundreds, even thousands of our nation’s largest businesses have been hacked. In just the last few years:
- One-hundred forty-five million eBay accounts were hacked.
- Eighty-three million clients at JPMorgan were hacked.
- Fifty-six million Home Depot cardholders were hacked.
- Thirty-seven million users on Ashley Madison were hacked.
- Over 1.5 billion Yahoo users were hacked.
The fact is, cybercriminals are everywhere.
To this day … hundreds of millions of Americans have had their information compromised and more than 12 new people are hacked each second.
My mother is just one of them.
Fortunately, though, the world is learning how to protect itself.
Every day, there are new cybersecurity measures being developed. That’s why experts predict this cybersecurity market, estimated around $80 billion, will hit $1 trillion by 2021 … a massive 1,200% increase in the next four years.
After all, clearly there’s demand for it.
One company, in particular, has a unique way of ending cybercrime. It has developed a code that adds one layer of defense on top of another so that cybercriminals can’t get a foothold. You can learn more about that company here.
With all the resources now out there, it’s time to actively start protecting yourself if you haven’t already. I urge you to make yourself a difficult target. Don’t make it easy on hackers.
My mother’s incident reminded me that I have to do it too.
That’s why I started brushing up on Ted Bauman’s Privacy Code 2.0 report. If you also want to start protecting your personal information too, click here to learn more.
In today’s world, cybercrime is simply a part of life. It’s time we start protecting ourselves.
Catch you next week.
Managing Editor, Banyan Hill Publishing