Nearly eight in 10 Americans (77 percent) are frightened of having their identity stolen, according to a new Bankrate.com report, including 23 percent who are very frightened. About half of Americans (46 percent) have either been a victim of identity theft or know someone who was, up 12 percentage points from 2008.
One in five Americans is not at all worried about having their identity stolen. 30-49 year-olds are the most nervous about identity theft, while millennials (18-29 year-olds) are the least concerned.
Many Americans aren’t taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves from identity theft. Forty-two percent don’t check their credit reports regularly and 41 percent conduct banking and other sensitive business on unsecured Wi-Fi networks that do not require a password.
“With news of a data hack nearly every week, consumers are doing themselves a disservice by not checking their credit reports regularly,” says Bankrate.com analyst Janna Herron. “It’s one of the easiest and most important steps to take and is free on sites like myBankrate.com.”
The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI). PSRAI obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults living in the continental United States. Interviews were conducted by landline phone (500) and cellphone (500, including 305 without a landline phone) in English by Princeton Data Source from October 1-4, 2015. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.