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More Americans Are Reporting Theft of Personal Data

Also: Younger and older Americans see a sharp rise in data crimes.

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In case you needed one, here’s another gauge of the surge in the number of Internet security problems, including the Heartbleed bug and the Target breach: The number of Americans reporting the theft of important personal data is on the rise.

New data from the Pew Research Center shows that 18 percent of American adults say they have had data like their Social Security number, credit card number or bank account information stolen at one time or another. The survey was conducted in January, and shows an increase from 11 percent of adults who said the same thing in July of last year.

There are also some troubling trends when you break the data down by age groups. The rate of data theft more than doubled from seven percent to 15 percent in the later survey for adults age 18 to 29. Americans age 50 to 64 also saw a sharp rise, from 11 percent to 20 percent.

The number of people reporting that they had experienced a hack of their email or social media accounts held steady in the two surveys at 21 percent.

The survey data was gathered in telephone interviews of 1,002 American adults.

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