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Almost Half Of Americans Have Been Sent Breach Notifications

When breach notification letters become as common as holiday cards and promotional flyers from the local grocer, they tend to lose any impact. That’s the concern being raised following poll results released Wednesday (Dec. 17) from the Wall Street Journal and NBC News that showed 45 percent of Americans say that they received one of those beloved breach notifications from a retailer of card-issuer.

“That figure has contributed to what many retail analysts are calling ‘breach fatigue,’ in which consumers stop worrying about cyberattacks because they appear in the news so frequently,” the Journal story said. “In the past year alone, major breaches have been reported at Target, J.P. Morgan Chase, Home Depot, K-Mart, SuperValu and others. In many of those cases, the victims and card-issuers pledged to protect consumers from fraudulent charges.”

The Journal/NBC poll of 1,000 adults was conducted from Dec. 10-14. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Another interesting stat is that “15 percent said either they or a member of their household had been hit by online fraud or hacking. When Gallup asked the same question more than four years ago, 11 percent answered yes.” It’s not clear how significant that is, given that four years is a very long time in terms of consumer appreciation of online cyber attacks and that the methodologies—not to the mention the precise audience polled—in the two surveys could have been quite different.

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