Major internet sites now seem to suffer routine data breaches. Over the past several months, we’ve learned that multiple major retailers had credit card numbers (by the millions) stolen as their databases were hacked from Eastern Europe. Last week, “Heartbleed” was discovered, prompting the recommendation to change all your passwords online.
Welcome to the new normal — or so it would seem.
The Pew Research Center released January 2014 survey data this morning that found 18 percent of adults online have had personal information stolen (“Social Security Number, credit card, or bank account information”), up from 11 percent last year.
Beyond this, 21 percent said they had email or a social networking profile or account “compromised” or hacked. However this number hasn’t increased since last year.
As crime — and organized crime in particular — increasingly takes the form of hacking and electronic theft, we can likely expect an ongoing cat and mouse game between shadowy hacker networks around the globe vs. major online sites, publishers and financial institutions.
The question is: how will users react? Will they change their behavior at all or simply assume that publishers and institutions will protect and indemnify them against loss?