18% of US Internet users had data stolen, survey finds

April 14, 2014
A pictures shows binary code reflected from a computer screen in a woman's eye on October 22, 2012

Some 18 percent of US Internet users have had important personal data such as bank account information stolen and the problem appears to be getting worse, a survey showed Monday.

The Pew Research Center study carried out in January showed a sharp increase from mid-2013, when 11 percent reported being victimized.

The survey also found 21 percent reported having email or social network accounts compromised, the same percentage as last year.

The findings come amid growing concern over the "Heartbleed" vulnerability discovered earlier this month, and months after US retail giant Target acknowledged millions of customers may have had compromised.

"As online Americans have become ever more engaged with online life, their concerns about the amount of personal information available about them online have shifted as well," the Pew researchers wrote.

"Internet users have become more worried about the amount of available about them online—50 percent reported this concern in January 2014, up from 33 percent in 2009."

The report is based on a survey of 1,002 adults from January 23 to 26, including 820 Internet users. The margin of sampling error for the Internet users is estimated at four percentage points.

Explore further: Privacy fears cause more to cover online tracks

Related Stories

Privacy fears cause more to cover online tracks

September 5, 2013

Amid growing fears about online surveillance and data theft, Americans are increasingly taking steps to remove or mask their digital footprints on the Internet, a study showed Thursday.

Online video use surges, survey finds

October 10, 2013

Americans are using the Internet more for video, both to post their own snippets and to view videos of others, a survey showed Thursday.

Recommended for you

Team creates functional ultrathin solar cells

August 27, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an ultrathin solar cell for use in lightweight and flexible applications. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, ...

Magnetic fields provide a new way to communicate wirelessly

September 1, 2015

Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego demonstrated a new wireless communication technique that works by sending magnetic signals through the human body. The new technology could offer a lower power ...

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.