Another month, another report of a large corporation failing to keep customer information secure. This time, it's JP Morgan reporting that 76 million households and 8 million small business were exposed in a data breach. At this point, it's understandable if the news doesn't cause much alarm.
To get psychological about it, it's a classic case of habituation: The first time we experience something we pay close attention, but as it happens again and again, we simply stop noticing. The first time your bank calls you and tells you to replace your credit card, it's worrying. The fifth or sixth time, it's annoying.
But hear us out: This JP Morgan Chase breach should freak you out, even if you don't bank with them. Previous data breaches have largely been confined to retail companies (Target, Home Depot etc.), where brands are required to meet basic security protocols and not much else. "Retailers are known to be cheap," Paula Rosenblum, managing partner at Retail Systems Research, said. "But it gives me much more pause when it happens to a bank.”
Banks have much more sensitive information about their customers than any retail operation, everything from social security numbers to detailed records of past spending. So far, JP Morgan reports that only limited personal information, such as names, phone numbers, and addresses, were stolen, insisting that social security numbers, banking information, and other data remain safe. "I’m assuming that [information] is encrypted," said Rosenblum. "If not, then Katy bar the door.”