Not every thief has every piece of your data. There are still things that you can do that can make a difference. If your Social Security number has been compromised four times, and you haven’t done a credit freeze, you are low-hanging fruit.”
Mr. Erwin’s approach is common for those who fear that data breaches will lead to identity theft.
According to 2016 data compiled by the Justice Department, 85% of the estimated 26 million identity-theft victims in the U.S. that year saw the attempted misuse of a credit card or bank account. The Bureau of Justice Statistics started including in 2008 a question about data breaches in its identity-theft supplement, which is part of its National Crime Victimization Survey.
“The genie is really out of the bottle,” said M. Eric Johnson, dean of Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, who researches information and data risk. “I think pretty much every American has had their data exposed now at some time or another.”