Americans overestimate the risk that identity theft will occur online and underestimate the risk offline, according to a survey by Zogby International. Thirty-four percent of respondents said they think identity theft is most likely to occur online, according to the survey. But just 10 percent of incidents occur online, according to data from research firm Javelin Group.
The study was commissioned by identity theft protection and restoration service EZShield, which recommends several steps for online and offline protection. Suggestions include shredding bank, credit card, and other statements; acquiring a locked mail box; and refusing to use a Social Security number, date of birth, or similar data when dealing with businesses. The firm also suggests creating unique online passwords and changing them regularly.