December begins National Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month, and those of us who live in Illinois should pay close attention to the warnings and cautions that we'll be hearing about throughout the holiday season. Why? Because Illinois is ranked #2 overall out of 50 states for identity theft, and #38 when it comes to identity fraud.

WalletHub has crunched the numbers gathered by Identity Theft Resource Center’s most recent Data Breach Report, and they point out just how much data has been stolen just this year:

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center’s most recent Data Breach Report, 901 breaches with access to more than 34 million records have taken place thus far in 2016, and more are likely to be reported by the end of the year. Until 2015, identity theft was the top complaint received by the Federal Trade Commission for 15 consecutive years. And while more aggressive measures have been taken to improve the security of our personal information, criminal strategies constantly evolve and grow in sophistication, keeping consumers vulnerable to identity theft and fraud. Just how vulnerable, however, depends on the person’s state of residence.

WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across six key indicators of susceptibility to such crimes, ranging from “identity-theft complaints per capita” to “average loss amount due to fraud.”

Here's a look at Illinois' numbers:

Illinois’ Vulnerability to Identity Theft & Fraud (1=Most Vulnerable; 25=Avg.)

  • 6th – Identity-Theft Complaints per Capita
  • 4th – Avg. Loss Amount Due to Online Identity Theft
  • 28th – Fraud & Other Complaints per Capita
  • 25th – State Security-Freeze Laws for Minors’ Credit Reports
  • 1st – Identity-Theft Passport Program

The top 5 most vulnerable spots in the US for ID theft/fraud are:

  1. Washington, DC
  2. California
  3. Florida
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Nevada

And, the 5 least vulnerable:

  1. North Dakota
  2. Arkansas
  3. West Virginia
  4. Maine
  5. South Dakota

Check out a few ways to protect yourself:

To read WalletHub's full report on ID theft and fraud, along with suggestions to protect yourself and your family, click here.