18% of Americans report data theft in 2014

18% of Americans report data theft in 2014

18% of Americans say they have been a victim of online data theft, up from 11% in 2013. This includes data like Social Security Numbers, credit card details and bank account information.

The rise in reported data theft happened across age ranges, but is especially marked in the 18-29 group. This may reflect both an increase in theft, and also an increase in awareness. The almost constant run of stories about data losses during 2013 will have raised awareness of the problem, whereas some people may not have noticed data theft before.

From the hack on Adobe servers that resulted in the theft of millions of user account details, to the December 2013 report that credit and debit card information retailer for over 40 million Target customers had been stolen: in 2013 it was much more likely that you were a victim of some kind of data theft.

The PEW research also shows that 50% of Americans online are now concerned about the amount of information available about them online, up from 33% in 2009. This is not so surprising, as the longer people use social networks and online services, the more aware of the possible pitfalls they become.

This increase in reported data theft does show that security concerns online are now pretty mainstream, and huge stories like the Heartbleed bug, which you can read more about here, will only make users more aware and concerned about online security and privacy.

Source: Pew Research Center

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