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CONSUMER ALERT: Identity theft

A new study from the state of New York says most personal data isn't very secure
The threat from hackers growing
A new report provided exclusively to ABC News- highlights evidence that just about everyone is at increased risk for identity theft.

Kelly -
I think there is no question that the problem is getting bigger, it is expanding..
The study released by the New York State Attorney's Office examined data breaches in New York over eight years showing the number of hacking cases spiked from 34 in 2006 to more than 400 a year since 2011, a more than 100 fold increase.

In 2013 security breaches exposed the personal records of more than 7 million people. Neiderman/ NY Attorney General,  Consumers have to take steps to protect themselves because if it's happening in New York it's happening all over the country.

Retailers - and their customers - are the top victims evidenced by the massive hacking at target last year, and other major breaches at Michael's and Ebay.

Kelly -
It is a major problem that will only increase in complexity and expense...
One estimate finds that data breaches cost the US nearly 25-billion dollars just in 2012 and hackers are hitting *bigger targets - with 5 of the 10 largest hacks in history - reported just within the last three years.

Experts say - defending against skilled cyber criminals certainly isn't easy. Some of your best bets - are pretty obvious things- check your credit and debit accounts often. And change your passwords regularly.   

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