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11/10/2014

Data Breaches Have Not Changed the Behavior of Many Shoppers

Despite the near-constant stream of retailer data breaches over the past year, many American consumers have not changed their behavior when using credit and debit cards.

RSA, The Security Division of EMC, released the results of a new survey in conjunction with the Ponemon Institute highlighting consumer attitudes toward online security. Surveying more than 1,000 consumers in the United States, the survey found that nearly half of respondents had fallen victim to at least one data breach and 45% say they are not confident they know all instances of when their personal information has been leaked.   

Many of the respondents have showcased a boosted concern around security driven by the increase in mobile and the prevalence of data breaches. However, despite growing concerns, in many cases behaviors toward security have not changed.

The results of the survey are intriguing — although nearly half of shoppers falling victim to a security breach, there is an inclination to increase online behaviors that have proven risky, like online shopping, and an overwhelming unwillingness to change risky behavior. Forty-eight percent admit to online shopping on a weekly basis, and while respondents rated security expectations high for activities like online banking and mobile transactions, security expectations for online shopping were shockingly low.  Even with expectations being low, so many being personally affected by data breaches, and the wave of retail data breaches involving payment card information, 45% of the respondents say that it has no effect on their use of credit or debit cards. 

Weak authentication is still an issue among most consumers, with 62% expressing a lack of trust in websites that only require a username and password at login. While 71% of respondents say they are most concerned about losing their password in a data breach, nearly a third admits to only having one to two passwords for all online accounts; 69% admit to using the same password for more than one device or site; and only 54% say that they regularly change their passwords. When questioned about preferred authentication methods, a majority of respondents cited software tokens and/or biometrics (voice and fingerprint verification) as the ideal ways to manage identities.