Many Americans Say Data Breaches Have Affected Them

Many Americans Say Data Breaches Have Affected Them

These days, data breaches seem to be able to grab headlines with greater frequency, and that has led many small business owners to wonder what would happen if they’re hit with such an issue. It seems that all these individual incidents are starting to pile up, and leaving many Americans adversely affected.

Today, nearly one in five American adults who regularly uses the internet says that he or she has had some aspect of his or her personal or financial information stolen, including credit card or bank account data, or Social Security number, according to a new poll from Pew Research. That doesn’t count another 21 percent of adults who said that they’ve had either their email or social media accounts compromised, though obviously there may be some overlap in this regard.

That 18 percent of people with personal or financial data being stolen is up from 11 percent just a year earlier, the report said. Meanwhile, the 21 percent with compromised online accounts was unchanged.

“As online Americans have become ever more engaged with online life, their concerns about the amount of personal information available about them online have shifted as well,” wrote Mary Madden, a senior researcher for the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, in reporting the findings. “When we look at how broad measures of concern among adults have changed over the past five years, we find that internet users have become more worried about the amount of personal information available about them online – 50 percent reported this concern in January 2014, up from 33 percent in 2009.”

Demographic difficulties
When it comes to which age group is most often being affected by these issues, it seems that the closer people get to middle age, the more likely they are to be victimized, the report said. Some 20 percent of people within the age ranges of both 30 to 49 years old and 50 to 64 years old reported being affected, compared with just 15 percent of people 18 to 29 years old, and 13 percent of those more than 65 years old.

Owners who want to make sure that they’re protected if or when they suffer a data breach of their own may want to consider the value of buying tech insurance. Because the costs associated with a breach may be sizable, this kind of small business insurance policy could be extremely helpful in defraying them.