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Data breach theft growing at faster rate, says Pew study

WASHINGTON -- If it feels as though you've been getting a lot more of those data-breach notices in your inbox this year, you're not alone.

According to a new study by the Pew Research Center, 18 percent of American adults with Internet access have reported that their personal information was stolen in a data breach.

That's up from 11 percent who reported the same in July.

And this is serious personal information being taken, such as Social Security and credit card numbers, and banking information.

The percentage of those reporting a breach of their email, social media or other online accounts held steady at 21 percent in both years.

The study, which surveyed 1,002 adults, was conducted in January, before the public had any information about the Heartbleed bug but after the disclosure of major breaches at retailers, including Target and Neiman Marcus.

The jump in breaches seems to have hit hardest among those ages 50 to 64.

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