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A recent Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) survey of 317 consumers who had experienced a data breach that exposed their personal information found that 41 percent said they wouldn't do business with the breached company again.
The survey, sponsored by CyberScout, also found that more than 49 percent of respondents were confused about what to do after receiving a breach notification.
Over 31 percent of respondents didn't know where or whom to turn to for support, and 38 percent said they would turn to their bank for help.
Eighty percent of respondents understood that they were now at higher risk for identity theft that could lead to financial harm, and 77 percent were frustrated, angry and anxious after receiving a breach notification. Just 11.5 percent felt confident they would be okay.
Still, less than half of respondents took basic steps to protect themselves following the breach, such as changing their passwords (44.3 percent), requesting a credit report (42.5 percent), or signing up for a credit monitoring service (20.9 percent).
"These survey results reiterate something we already had a feeling was happening, which is that many people don't know what to do in the event that their personal data is stolen," ITRC president and CEO Eva Velasquez said in a statement.
"As we are seeing with the Equifax breach, no one is immune to data breaches or the threat of identity theft, and there clearly needs to be better public education about how consumers can resolve ID theft and protect themselves," Velasquez added.
"After the Equifax breach, it is no longer a question of if you will be affected -- consumers need to operate under the assumption their critical data, such as Social Security numbers, has been compromised, and take steps to protect themselves proactively," CyberScout CEO Matt Cullina said.
Response to Equifax
A separate LendEDU poll of 1,000 U.S. consumers found that just 15.8 percent had not yet heard of the Equifax breach. Among the remaining 84.2 percent who had, over 54 percent said Equifax should lose its ability to act as as a credit bureau following the breach.
Still, 55 percent of respondents haven't yet checked to see if they were affected by the Equifax breach, and just 26.48 percent said they would join a class action lawsuit against Equifax in response to the breach.
While 25.3 percent of respondents said they would feel more secure if the credit bureaus were government-run agencies instead of for-profit companies, 19.83 percent said they would feel less secure, and 40.38 percent said it wouldn't make a difference.
Strikingly, over 83 percent of respondents agreed that lawmakers should enact stricter legislation and oversight to protect consumer information in the hands of credit bureaus, while less than three percent disagreed.