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Data Breaches Lose Customers, Survey Says

Data Breaches Lose Customers, Survey Says

computer-hacking.jpg It seems like data breaches and hackings can do more harm than just violating your company’s privacy. According to a recent study, data breaches can also ruin your company’s reputation and lose your customers.

In Traverse City, Michigan, a research company made a survey regarding the trust that customers and clients place in their businesses once they know their security may have been compromised by a data breach. The federal government and the vast majority of states in the United States have now enacted notification laws, meaning that businesses and companies are required by law to notify their customers and clients if there is any kind of security breach. As a result of these notification laws, customer, clients, and the rest of the general population are now much more aware of data breaches and hackings than they were in the past.

In an earlier survey conducted in 2005, 12% of respondents indicated that they had been notified by their companies that there had been a security breach in their company and that their personal information may have been compromised. In the more recent survey conducted by the same company, the percentage had more than doubled, going up to 25% of respondents.

Both surveys were sponsored by Experian, a credit that specializes in identity theft products and service. They made a full analysis of consumer attitudes and experiences about breaches several different industries and companies. Included in their analysis were the breeches of healthcare providing companies, which appear to be a more recent target for hackers.

Of all the people who have their healthcare information hacked or stolen, ten percent said it was their healthcare or medical records that were stolen. Another five percent said that the thefts involved their healthcare account numbers, and another three percent said their prescriptions information was stolen. Eight percent said they had received breach notices from hospitals or clinics, two percent from an insurance company and nine percent from a state or local government agency.
Just 35 percent of respondents who reported having experienced a breach indicated it was only one.

Another 30 percent had been through two breaches, 14 percent three and seven percent four, five percent five and nine percent more than five. Victims were also asked “What personal data if lost or stolen would you most worry about?” In response to that question, sixty-five percent of respondents indicated it would be their prescription records, which tied for fifth along with credit card or bank payment information among 22 ranked responses. Respondents were more fearful of losing their password or personal identification number (92%), Social Security number (89%) and “social media accounts/handles (68%).

When asked “How concerned were you when you received the (breach) notification?” Forty percent of respondents selected “very concerned” and 48% “concerned.” Meanwhile, 62% indicated the breach “decreased my trust and confidence in the organization,” so much so that 15% indicated they “would, or already have,” discontinued their relationship with the organization, another 39% said they might break ties over the breach and 35% said they won’t “as long as it does not happen again.”

AUTHOR - Michael Peros

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