State Reps. Pam Staneski, Charles Ferraro and Kim Rose, along with the Milford Police Department, recently hosted an identity protection and safety forum for interested Milford businesses to talk about the dangers of identity theft.

The forum was held at the Milford Police Department and the panel consisted of representatives of the Milford Police Department Computer & Identity Theft Crime Unit and Caitlin Anderson, a staff attorney from the Department of Consumer Protection.

“We are all trying to stay ahead of the criminals,” Staneski said. “Identity theft is a serious crime and we need to educate our local businesses about the potential hazards.”

The criminal mind never goes on vacation, Ferraro said.

“There are literally millions people worldwide who are victims of identity theft,” he said. “People wake up to find their credit cards have been compromised, that there is a huge drop in their bank account balance or that their money is gone.”

Ferraro said he hopes forums like this will help small businesses to be more efficient at protecting their business, their employees, and their customers from breaches that can result in identity theft.

Rose said, “Helping businesses stay ahead of the game against identity theft is critical as statistics show this issue continues to become increasingly prevalent.”

Earlier this year, up to 1.4 million Connecticut residents were affected by what Attorney General George Jepsen branded “one of the largest, most in-depth data breaches in history” targeting insurer Anthem Inc. Data breaches at retailers such as Target and Home Depot had people here and nationwide on edge.