If you had an account with businesses such as Marriott, Under Armour, Panera Bread, T-Mobile, or Facebook, amongst others, there is a chance that you could be among the millions of people whose email addresses, passwords, passport number, credit card numbers, and billing address were exposed unlawfully.
In 2018, roughly five billion people had their information and sensitive data exposed due to hacks. But what do customers do when they've had their private information exposed by a corporation that's been breached via cyber attack?
Security company Security.org surveyed over 1,000 people in the US including over 300 data breach victims to learn more about their awareness of major data breaches.
This study included data breaches that occurred from Jan. 1, 2018, to Dec. 31, 2018, regardless of the public reporting date. Only breaches leaking over 500,000 consumer records that affected consumers on a national scale were included.
It found that most people were only loosely familiar with the total number of corporate breaches that occurred in 2018. Though the majority of people admitted to losing trust in corporations that experienced data breaches, most were unwilling to cut ties with these companies.
To counter this, most people made their account passwords harder to guess and were more selective with whom they gave their financial information after learning of a breach, even though one in three people who experienced a data breach ultimately weren't sure which information was targeted.
The findings showed that almost one in four Americans stop doing business with companies who have been hacked, and more than two in three people trust a company less after a data breach.
Almost all respondents (92%) agree that companies are financially liable to their customers after a breach and over one in five people are unwilling to give their financial information to a company who's been hacked
Breaches normally expose email addresses (49.5%) or full names (47.8%), but 13.8% of breaches expose credit card information and 11.8% of breaches expose debit card information.
Over two in five learned that they had been breached from the media, or from the breached company itself. Over one in 10 (12.7%) discovered after noticing a financial discrepancy on their records.
After learning of a data breach, almost three out of five (59.1%) made their passwords more difficult to guess, and almost half (44.6%) became more reluctant to enter financial information online. Almost one in six (13.6%) did nothing.
Fewer than one in 10 people (8.5%) will give a company their financial information within a month after they've been breached and over one in five (21.6%) would be unwilling to give any information to a company that has experienced a data breach.
Being in control of who has access to our information is important to us -- so why are we giving away this access with a simple click each day? Securing our accounts with unique passwords will help to minimize the breach, and being cautious when accessing accounts from public Wi-Fi, too.
Being ultra-cautious will help to keep you -- and your family -- safe online.
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