2017 Data Breach Notification Survey Results

Conducted by ITRC for CyberScout, this study explored the ways that respondents reacted to a data breach and the steps they took to mitigate the risk of financial harm.

CyberScout and the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) today announced findings from a timely new study on consumer perceptions and behaviors in response to identity theft and data breaches. The results of the survey demonstrate widespread uncertainty among consumers, who don’t know how to resolve identity theft or effectively protect themselves. In light of the historic hacking of credit reporting agency Equifax, the survey highlights reactions that may leave millions of consumers vulnerable to a surge in identity theft.

Highlights include: 

  • 80 percent of respondents understood that the data breach meant they were at higher risk of identity theft that could lead to financial harm, reflecting a broad awareness of the risks related to the theft of personal information.

  • However, 49.3 percent were confused about what to do after receiving a breach notification and 31.5 percent did not know where or whom to turn to for support.

  • Most consumers were frustrated, angry and anxious (77 percent). Frustration/annoyance (32.2 percent) and anger (25.5 percent) were the top specific emotions felt upon receiving a breach notification.

  • Nearly half (41 percent) said they wouldn’t do business with the breached company again, a result that points to trouble for businesses who unwittingly expose customer data.

  • More than a third of respondents (38 percent) would turn to their bank for help, although banks are only obligated to address credit card or bank account fraud, not fraud related to Social Security numbers and other identifiers.

  • Less than half of respondents took basic, recommended steps to protect themselves from the theft of their personal information in a data breach. 


About the Identity Theft Resource Center 
Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud, and privacy issues. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its call center, website, social media channels, live chat feature and ID Theft Help app. For more information, visit: http://www.idtheftcenter.org


Contact: Kelly Dwyer
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