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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Jon McNeill, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez

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Floridians aren't doing enough to protect against identity theft

Experian's ProtectMyID® reveals the mistakes that are putting Florida consumers at risk

COSTA MESA, Calif., March 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A new online survey conducted for Experian's ProtectMyID® reveals Floridians are still at risk against the continuing threat of identity theft. The survey shows that 50 percent of Florida residents either have been a victim of identity theft or know someone who has been affected by the crime. In addition, people fail to take even simple steps to protect themselves, with only 42 percent reporting that they check credit reports regularly as a means to identify fraudulent activity.

The statewide study surveyed 1,000 consumers about their knowledge and behaviors related to identity theft. The survey reveals Florida residents take some steps to keep their personal information safe, but further efforts could be made, particularly surrounding technology and online activities. Survey results indicate that only 42 percent password protect their smartphones or tablets, and 22 percent admit they add individuals on social media channels without knowing them.

"This survey clearly shows that Florida residents are not doing what they could to stay protected, especially when it comes to reviewing their credit reports for warning signs and protecting their online activities," said Ken Chaplin, senior vice president of marketing for Experian's ProtectMyID. "Certainly consumers don't want to become victims, yet this survey reveals they continue to put themselves at risk."

Additional survey findings
Many Floridians indicate which precautions they do and don't take to avoid identity theft.

The good

  • Eighty-one percent avoid sharing their Social Security numbers unless required by law
  • To check for activity that isn't theirs, 78 percent check account statements as soon as they arrive
  • Seventy-five percent keep antivirus and antimalware programs up to date on all computers

The bad

  • Forty-three percent do not use different passwords for each online account
  • Fifty percent do not shred cancelled checks
  • More than 33 percent have not reviewed their credit reports, to watch for signs of identity theft, in more than six months

The medical

  • Sixty-one percent have not heard of medical identity theft
  • For those familiar with medical identity theft, 10 percent were either victims of the crime or knew a family member who was
  • Thirty-seven percent of those familiar with medical identity theft were not aware that it can affect one's credit score

About the survey
The online survey was conducted by Qualtrics on behalf of Experian from January 23 through 28, 2014, among 1,000 adults ages 18 and older residing in Florida. This online survey is not based on a probability sample; therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact [email protected].

About Experian's ProtectMyID
ProtectMyID is a leading, full-service provider of identity theft detection, protection and resolution. ProtectMyID offers identity theft protection supported by experienced identity theft resolution professionals who deliver personal attention that customers can rely on. ProtectMyID.com® is a website owned by ConsumerInfo.com, Inc., an Experian company. For more information about how ProtectMyID helps consumers protect themselves against identity theft, please visit http://www.ProtectMyID.com.

About Experian
Experian® is a leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended March 31, 2013, was US$4.7 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com.

Contacts:
Ann Noder
Pitch PR
1 480 263 1557
[email protected]

Becky Frost
Experian Consumer Services
1 949 202 7296
[email protected]

SOURCE Experian’s ProtectMyID.com

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