Nearly 1 in 5 Say They’ve Had Data Stolen, Pew Poll Finds

Eighteen percent of online adults in the U.S. have had important personal data stolen. That key takeaway from a new Pew Research Center study highlights the crisis in data protection.

The January 2014 survey, released on Monday, points to a seven percentage-point increase in personal information theft compared with the 11 percent of respondents in July of last year who also reported the theft of their Social Security number, credit card, bank account information or comparable data.

Similarly, when looking just at the 18-to-29 age group, the percentage aware that their personal information had been stolen has risen to 15 percent, from 7 percent last year. For the 50-to-64 age group, it's 20 percent in this survey, 11 percent last year. Differences in other age groups, Pew said, were not "statistically significant."

Half Worry

However, the 21 percent who reported an e-mail or social networking account had been compromised or hijacked was the same number as in July.

Overall, half of all online adults now worry about the security of their personal information online, compared with 29 percent in 2009.

The survey used phone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,002 adults in the continental U.S. About half were conducted via land line and half by cell phone, and in both English and Spanish.

This Pew report is only the latest to show an increasing interest among Internet users in protecting their online selves. In a Pew Research Internet Project report from September of last year about online anonymity, for instance, 59 percent said that "people should have the ability to use the Internet completely anonymously." In particular, the 18-29 group is most likely to use strategies to be less visible online.

Relatives, Friends

In 2012, Javelin Strategy & Research reported nearly 13 million victims of identity theft in the U.S. alone, increasing at the rate of one...

Comments are closed.

Nearly 1 in 5 Say They’ve Had Data Stolen, Pew Poll Finds

Eighteen percent of online adults in the U.S. have had important personal data stolen. That key takeaway from a new Pew Research Center study highlights the crisis in data protection.

The January 2014 survey, released on Monday, points to a seven percentage-point increase in personal information theft compared with the 11 percent of respondents in July of last year who also reported the theft of their Social Security number, credit card, bank account information or comparable data.

Similarly, when looking just at the 18-to-29 age group, the percentage aware that their personal information had been stolen has risen to 15 percent, from 7 percent last year. For the 50-to-64 age group, it's 20 percent in this survey, 11 percent last year. Differences in other age groups, Pew said, were not "statistically significant."

Half Worry

However, the 21 percent who reported an e-mail or social networking account had been compromised or hijacked was the same number as in July.

Overall, half of all online adults now worry about the security of their personal information online, compared with 29 percent in 2009.

The survey used phone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,002 adults in the continental U.S. About half were conducted via land line and half by cell phone, and in both English and Spanish.

This Pew report is only the latest to show an increasing interest among Internet users in protecting their online selves. In a Pew Research Internet Project report from September of last year about online anonymity, for instance, 59 percent said that "people should have the ability to use the Internet completely anonymously." In particular, the 18-29 group is most likely to use strategies to be less visible online.

Relatives, Friends

In 2012, Javelin Strategy & Research reported nearly 13 million victims of identity theft in the U.S. alone, increasing at the rate of one...

Comments are closed.