How do people respond to breached companies?

The importance of consumer trust for a business is something worth emphasizing from time to time.  People are more likely to do business with companies that haven’t experienced data breaches, especially major ones.

A study by is the most recent survey to bear this out, as a portion of its respondents expressed.  Over 1,000 people were included, more than 300 of whom were data breach victims.  Around one in four indeed confirmed that they cease doing business with a breached entity.  Two-thirds indicated their trust in the organization would decline after a breach.  Those aren’t overly surprising numbers, I’d say they’re about what you might expect.  People have become more conscious of data security overall, even if in moderate degree.

The data reflects this as well.  The vast majority of respondents (around 86%) were aware of at least some of the major breaches mentioned in the survey (although almost 30% were perhaps overeager to show their knowledge by referring to breaches that didn’t happen).  These were incidents that occurred in 2018, so we’re talking about headlines like Marriott, Under Armour, Facebook and T-Mobile.  Breaches of that magnitude were national news that each exposed over 500,000 private records.  Furthermore, after experiencing a breach themselves, only one in three were uncertain which data had been compromised.  For about one in five of them, it would have involved their financial information.  Many (44.6%) likewise became more cautious with giving out any financial information, and also knew to bolster their login passwords (59.1%).  Only about 14% did absolutely nothing, took no steps, which I find impressively low.

Interesting aside, but the largest of the listed breaches was Marriott, with over 300 million exposed records—and yet only 24% of the survey respondents were affected by it.  This group was hit most by the Facebook breach (69.8%), which involved 50 million records.

Again, the majority of data breach victims did not take their business elsewhere.  But if you have 100 customers, and 25 decide to leave you, that’s not an insignificant number.  Companies should make sure to appropriately value their consumer base’s trust, thereby maintaining loyalty.  Consumers, meanwhile, should keep improving at their security and data breach awareness.  When it comes down to it, no matter how much an organization may say they care about your data, no one will value it quite as much as you.


By: Jonathan Weicher, post on March 4, 2020
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Copyright: NetLib Security