Identity theft is, unfortunately, one of those terms that we've become all-too-familiar with over the last couple of decades. Major breaches of security involving some of the world's biggest retailers have made headline news, with millions of people finding out that their information has been compromised. Are there any states that are less vulnerable to these hacks than others? 

As it turns out, yes. Numbers-crunching personal finance site WalletHub wondered the very same thing, and set about finding out which states were the most and least vulnerable in their latest study "2017’s States Most Vulnerable to Identity Theft & Fraud."

Here's what they looked at to come up with their findings:

"...according to the Identity Theft Resource Center’s most recent Data Breach Report, 2017 is on track to register the highest number of data breaches since the center began tracking them in 2005. As of Oct. 10, nearly 8,000 breaches with access to more than one billion records had occurred, representing a 630 percent increase from the previous historic high of 1,093, recorded just in 2016, and nearly 5,000 percent since 2005.

In order to determine who is most likely to be exposed to and affected by identity theft and fraud, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across eight key metrics. Our data set ranges from identity-theft complaints per capita to average loss amount due to fraud.

Let's start with a look at the top 5 states that are most vulnerable:

1) California

2) Rhode Island

3) District of Columbia

4) Florida

5) Georgia


Next, the top 5 states that are least vulnerable:

47) Kansas

48) Wyoming

49) Hawaii

50) West Virginia

51) Iowa


As for the good folks in the Land of Lincoln, Illinois comes in as the #14 most vulnerable. Wisconsin is #46, Michigan is #6th, Missouri holds the #27 spot, Indiana is #16th, and Kentucky is #44th. The higher the number, the higher the vulnerability.

Illinois’ Vulnerability to Identity Theft & Fraud (1=Most Vulnerable; 25=Avg.)
6th – Identity-Theft Complaints per Capita
8th – Avg. Loss Amount Due to Online Identity Theft
26th – Fraud & Other Complaints per Capita
23rd – State Security-Freeze Laws for Minors’ Credit Reports
1st – Identity-Theft Passport Program
1st – Compliance with REAL ID Act

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