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Shred-it Study Reveals Americans Believe Their Information Security Habits Make Them Vulnerable to Fraud

November 18, 2019 GMT
Shred-it (CNW Group/Shred-it)
Shred-it (CNW Group/Shred-it)

Nearly half of Americans believe they are vulnerable to fraud or identity theft based on their physical and digital security habits, yet nearly half store their credit card information online

BANNOCKBURN, IL, Nov. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ - A third (33%) of Americans have been a victim of information fraud or identity theft; however, despite notable data breaches in 2019, when asked if they update or change passwords/PINs after a company they do business with suffers a data breach, more than a quarter (28%) say only sometimes and nearly one in 10 (9%) say they don’t update their passwords at all. That’s according to Shred-it’s second annual International Fraud Awareness Week Report, which exposes consumer information security concerns, trends and habits ahead of International Fraud Awareness Week November 17-23, 2019.

Four in ten (41%) Americans who have been a victim of information fraud or identity theft became one because their credit card number was stolen or used, another 22% reported someone stole their information from physical paper documents (e.g., W-2, mail, paper files at work, etc.) – highlighting a need for improved digital and physical information security – and 20% reported a company they do business with was hacked. However, nearly half (43%) of Americans still have their credit card/financial information stored on a company/brand website for easier or faster checkout and more than a third (35%) store paper documents containing sensitive personal information in an unlocked box, desk drawer or cabinet at home or work, leaving another method of fraud open to occur.

“The International Fraud Awareness Week Report reveals that despite a rise in data breaches this year and heightened concern over identity theft, Americans’ security habits are making them more vulnerable than ever to information fraud or identity theft,” said Mike Borromeo, VP of Data Protection, Stericycle, the provider of Shred-it information security solutions. “As a supporting organization for International Fraud Awareness Week, we believe it’s vital that security leaders bring awareness and stress the importance of protecting customer information, both online and in physical form, not only during this week dedicated to preventing fraud, but every day.”

Nearly half (46%) of Americans believe they are vulnerable to information fraud or identity theft based on their physical and digital security habits. While nearly two-thirds are more concerned that they could fall victim to an online security breach, 13% are more concerned they could fall victim to a physical security breach. Additionally, nearly two in five (39%) Americans take more information security precautions at home, while 17% take more precautions at work and 40% of Americans are equally as cautious at home and work. However, more than a quarter (27%) of Americans do not shred paper or physical documents containing sensitive information before throwing them away at home, and nearly three in ten (28%) Americans do not shred similar documents before throwing them away at work.

Additional findings from the survey include:

Americans’ Password Habits Make Them Susceptible to Fraud

Americans Aren’t Confident in Brands’ Ability to Protect Them From Data Breaches

Purchasing Decisions May Be Impacting Americans’ Information Security

For more information about Shred-it’s “International Fraud Awareness Week Report,” click here to read the full report .

About Shred-it
Shred-it is an information security service provided by Stericycle, Inc. Shred-it’s world-leading information destruction solutions ensure the security and integrity of private and confidential information, protecting more than 500,000 global, national and local businesses across 17 countries worldwide. For more information, please visit www.shredit.com.

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SOURCE Shred-it