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Research: Identity Theft Searches on the Rise

Identity theft searches are on the rise, according to Tiversa, suggesting that identify theft itself is also increasing. Research by the company, which specializes in helping organizations mitigate data leaks, said identity theft-related searches have risen by about a third during the last quarter of 2008.

The research is based on search data in an ongoing 18-month study by Tiversa, whose technology monitors about 450 million users issuing more than 1.5 billion searches a day. Data shows that search intent for sensitive information is on the rise, citing keywords related to personal banking logins, passwords, tax returns, credit card, account numbers, credit reports, and medical information.

The company said that the search increase from September 2007 to August 2008, while significant, was still minimal compared to the rapid rise seen from September 2008 to December 2008. Credit report searches rose by 78 percent, medical-related data searches rose by 42 percent, and credit-related and tax return searches rose by 37 and 36 percent, respectively.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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