After the holiday shopping season, many consumers were in a panic while bustling through malls and heading online to shop 'till they (literally and figuratively) dropped. Credit cards were whipped out left and right, allowing thieves potential access to secure and personal information.

Each year, far too many people fall victim to identity theft and fraud, and the free credit-monitoring website, WalletHub, released a thorough analysis covering six key metrics, as to which states were most vulnerable to identity theft and fraud in 2016.

As per the Identity Theft Resource Center's Data Breach Report, more than 900 breaches with access to 34 million+ records took place last year. If you were one of the many people affected, you already know how this can change your life.

The states which were declared most vulnerable were:

  • 1.District of Columbia
  • 2.California
  • 3.Florida
  • 4.Massachusetts
  • 5.Nevada
  • 6.Illinois
  • 7.Texas
  • 8.Michigan
  • 9.Missouri
  • 10.Connecticut

Those which were the least vulnerable to such crimes were:

  • 1.South Dakota
  • 2.Maine
  • 3.West Virginia
  • 4.Arkansas
  • 5.North Dakota
  • 6.Iowa
  • 7.Montana
  • 8.Idaho
  • 9.Kentucky
  • 10.Oklahoma

The full report with information for each state can be reviewed on WalletHub.

As per War On ID Theft, "Every state has some or the other factor which makes it more or less vulnerable to identity theft. Factors such as unemployment, a large population of elderly people, a high tourist ratio, etc. lead to identity thefts."

In the meantime, take a moment to learn how to protect yourself from identity theft. Consider credit monitoring and using common sense online and while emailing.

Some people are more vulnerable than others. An AARP study shows that certain behaviors and experiences make a difference. "Researchers compared the life experiences of victims and non-victims, based on a nationwide survey of 11,000 adults. They found that online fraud victims have experienced 53 percent more negative life events. They felt more isolated, were twice as likely to have lost a job, worried more about debt and were nearly twice as likely to have experienced a negative change in financial status in the last two years."

Learn more about personal habits and traits you may have that can put you at risk and make appropriate changes for your protection.

For more info on how to protect your identity and credit, read these important tips from USA.gov. Don't let your credit status get ruined or lose valuable time and money getting your personal information and status back in order.

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