Digital technologies no doubt provide benefits to society but are they worth the risk? One of the most recent calls to attention is the breach of the United States Postal Service. As Reuters reported, the cyber attack may have led to the exposure of information from more than 800,000 employees and clients who utilized the call center between January and August. While this occurrence may certainly taint the reputation of the post office for some time to come, it also sheds some negative light on digital technologies as a whole – here are some takeaways.
Privacy leaks trickling
For starters, the Postal Service breach demonstrates that digital technologies can greatly affect other industries, including one that's predominately print-based. What started out as an issue due to digital technology almost immediately became an issue that affects just about anyone who mails letters. Although the exposure of information was likely linked to phone calls in this case, the data breach might cost the postal service the trust of loyal clients, regardless of if they're directly involved or not.
Hindrance to customer trust
A study conducted by the Ponemon Institute examined client trust in relation to data breaches. According to Security Week, the research was comprised of a poll of 1,000 consumers who were asked for their opinions on shopping at an online retailer following a data breach.
Researchers found that 48 percent of participants would continue to shop at those businesses, however, they were still concerned with authentification when it came to mobile applications. About 71 percent of respondents admitted that they were most worried about losing their personal information in a data breach.
Impact on faith of employees
In the case of the USPS, however, more than just clients were affected. As stated earlier, employees were also impacted by the breach, which means that businesses that experience data breaches not only have to concern themselves with boosting client morale following an incident, but people who work at those places might not feel as confident in their company's ability to keep personal data, including email, addresses, Social Security numbers and other sources of information that are required to get a new employee on payroll.
Slim chances of eliminating breaches
Despite these concerns, the chances of avoiding technology altogether are pretty slim. People of all ages have embraced technology. Pew reported that even the senior population has been using technology more. The Internet in general is connected to all aspects of life. It plays a primary role in news, government, health and social components of existence, stated the source. It shows no signs of slowing down and most tech buffs suggest that data breaches are practically inevitable these days.
Print can be an aide
So then how does society find a balance to toe the line between benefit and risk when it comes to digital devices and technologies? Perhaps in the future, companies will continue to increase data security or use different means to keep the information safe. Prior to the digital boom in the country, there weren't as many recorded cases of data breach, which could mean that it's time to return to the traditional and safe method of print record-keeping – at least for some tasks.