People, governments and private institutions seem to be hacked more and more often. Recently, some organizations have been held hostage, being told they must pay money to get their networks back online. Other hacks expose hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of personal records. These can include names, addresses and even passwords. When personal data is stolen, companies often do little more than apologize and perhaps give people free security software.
A new study by Beyond Identity looked at cybercrime data from the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network Reports. They discovered that fraud, identity theft and cybercrime reports in America were up 300% from 2010 to 2020. Additionally, they reported 1.4 million cases of identity theft that cost people $3.3 billion.
To look at the trend by city, Beyond Identity tallied cybertheft by 100,000 people. Notably, over the period from 2010 to 2020, the figure soared in two states. The number rose 1,400% in Kansas and 1,100% in Rhode Island. The states with the lowest increase were South Dakota at 47% and Iowa at 60%.
Beyond Identity then turned its attention to cities, looking at figures for just 2020. The top four cities based on most cyber identity fraud were all in Kansas: Topeka (1,925 per 100,000), Lawrence (1,715), Wichita (1,395) and Manhattan (1,207).
The cities with the fewest cybercrimes per 100,000 last year were Olympia in Washington (711), Shreveport (713), Houston (724) and Rockford in Illinois (738). The study’s authors noted:
Nine states, including Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota at the very bottom, saw less than a 100% increase in identity theft reports due to cybercrime. While these may still seem like large increases, given the overall cybercrime climate and the enormous increases in incidents over the past decade, these particular increases look almost tame by comparison.
Where you live makes a difference when it comes to cybercrime levels. However, it is not clear why.