How to determine the tone of a data breach notification letter

This “Data Breach Response – How To” article is part of our larger series by Heather Noonan.

Remember when your Mom would say “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? With a data breach notification letter, that saying doesn’t necessarily hold true. However, you can still be nice, while being sympathetic and providing the facts.

LEARN MORE:  How to Write a Data Breach Notification Letter 

Over the years, I have seen data breach notification letters become softer, more personable. I think businesses and large corporations have finally realized that there are real people out there and people are human. Even if it is a generic form letter, people take these letters seriously. You will always have the handful of people that toss their mail and will toss the letter, but you will always have a larger group that truly care, especially when it comes to their personal information. “You are saying my Social Security number was stolen? Yes, I have a big problem with that.”

You need to write the notification letter knowing that your mother, your neighbor, or your friend across town could be reading it. The tone shouldn’t be condescending or insensitive. It’s not the individual’s fault their personal information was affected. They entrusted you to protect it and keep it secure. The tone should be transparent, straightforward, and personable when appropriate.

Still a bit lost about where to begin? Reference our previous blog.

-Heather Noonan

Senior Project Manager-Data Breach Response Team

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