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One Third of Americans Have Been Victims of Identity Theft According to New Centrify Survey

Survey Also Finds Identity Theft, Stolen Credit Card Information, and Cybercrime are Top Digital Lifestyle Concerns among U.S. Consumers

November 18, 2014

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Identity theft and stolen credit card information rank equally as the two top concerns among consumers questioned about their digital lifestyle, according to new research commissioned by Centrify Corporation, a leader in unified identity management across cloud, mobile and data center. The survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers reveals that 81 percent of respondents cited they were equally concerned, or very concerned, about these issues.

The study found that one in three people have definitely or very likely been a victim of identity theft, 52 percent of whom stated it took more than 1 month to fix, with 1 in 5 saying it took more than 10 hours. Forty-four percent admitted to having to spend their own money to resolve the issue, with 31 percent noting they have spent at least $100, highlighting the need for increased password security.

“With so much of our time spent online, the security of our personal information, and more importantly our identities, is being put at risk on a daily basis,” said Centrify CMO Mark Weiner. “According to our survey, online purchases were the top reason that users thought they became victims of identity theft, underscoring the importance of having confidence in one’s own online security. Consumers have very little faith in the absolute security of their passwords, as just 12 percent believe those passwords are very secure, regardless of the amount and type of characters used. Being able to manage our password security is crucial.”

Cybercrime is also a primary concern, with 75 percent ranking it third on their digital lifestyle threat list. Surprisingly, cyber bullying was the least concerning, with just 41 percent of consumers considering it a top-of-mind threat, while email spam (70%) and privacy of social networks (69%) ranked much higher.

The survey also revealed the number of respondents that have a high, medium, or low “digital footprint” based on the amount of time they spend online in a typical week. This includes going online for emailing; texting; uploading, sharing and viewing images and video content; downloading apps; and downloading and playing games. Respondents with a high digital footprint said they were very concerned about having their identity stolen (46%), about having their credit card information stolen (46%), and over the privacy of their social network profiles (42%). Respondents with low digital footprints also ranked stolen identity and stolen credit card information at the top of their list at 44 percent each, but ranked being the victim of a cybercrime as the next very concerning issue at 39 percent.

Other research highlights include:

  • Eighteen percent believe transactions with a retail institution, and 14 percent of consumers thought transactions with a financial institution, would most likely lead to them being a victim of identity theft.
  • The groups that are most likely to say they have been victims of identity theft are those that probably best understand and notice the signs of identity theft: IT workers, online shoppers, higher-salary workers, the tech-savvy, and those with a high digital footprint.
  • Those with the least confidence that their passwords are absolutely secure include those that have a low digital footprint (9%), are blue-collar (8%), and those from the Midwest (8%).

A plurality of consumers is somewhat confident that their passwords for personal accounts could not be cracked by a computer program, but few are very confident.

About the Survey

The Widmeyer survey was developed to assess people’s engagement with, and perception of, passwords in order to determine their efficacy in the workplace. The survey was completed in September 2014 with more than 1,000 participants in the UK and 1,000 participants in North America. Results were similar across both regions. The final results can be found at: http://www.centrify.com/Password-Survey

About Centrify

Centrify provides unified identity management across cloud, mobile and data center environments that delivers single sign-on (SSO) for users and a simplified identity infrastructure for IT. Centrify’s unified identity management software and cloud-based Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) solutions leverage an organization’s existing identity infrastructure to enable single sign-on, multi-factor authentication, privileged identity management, auditing for compliance and enterprise mobility management. Centrify customers can typically reduce their total cost of identity management and compliance by more than 50 percent, while improving business agility and overall security. Centrify is used by more than 5,000 customers worldwide, including nearly half of the Fortune 50 and more than 60 Federal agencies. For more information, please visit http://www.centrify.com/