Half of Consumers Say Data Breaches Are Waiting to Happen, Survey Finds

Almost half of global consumers expect to be affected by a data breach at some point, and 30 percent are data breach victims already, according to a new survey.

Data breaches are a constant security issue, and services such as email providers and online stores have a large impact. Large databases that end up on the black market affect more than just the company they stem from, as people tend to use the same credentials across multiple services.

For consumers, being affected by a data breach is no longer a matter of ‘if’ but of ‘when.’ 48 percent of consumers believe it’s only a matter of time until a data breach hits them directly. In fact, 30 percent are already victims of a data breach, and that doesn’t give them any kind of immunity to a repeat in the future.

“OpSec’s Annual Consumer Barometer surveying 2,600 global consumers also found that 46 percent of data breach victims have been contacted by brands about their data being compromised two to five times, while 9% have been contacted more than five times,” the study found. “This has led over half (55 percent) of consumers to believe that companies aren’t doing enough to protect their data.”

A surprising side effect of frequent data breaches is the desensitization of users. The 30 percent of consumers already hit didn’t care all that much. But that sentiment returns with a vengeance as 64 percent of victims lose faith in the brands that lost their data.

But the survey also showed a worrying trend: “Of the 40% of consumers who were affected by data theft, only 9% of all those who had fallen victim to phishing schemes had any money returned.”

More consumers than ever are now using the online medium for purchases, which in turn exposes their credit card data. Half of consumers worry about using their credit cards online. They consider various scenarios, such as hackers stealing their personal details (62 percent), scammers stealing their money (58 percent) and identity theft (57 percent).