#Privacy: Concern over data theft drops despite data breach increase, survey finds

Privacy

Generali Global Assistance, a developer of a proprietary and innovative identity and digital protection platform, has announced the findings of its third-annual holiday shopper survey which identifies holiday shopping trends and consumer sentiment on the identity theft risks holiday shopping poses.

This year, survey results show customers who indicated that they would be concerned about doing business with a retailer if they experienced a breach has decreased. In 2019, 79 percent of shoppers are concerned about purchasing from retailers who experienced a data breach in the past compared to 83 percent last year, highlighting a potential trend of consumer apathy toward data breaches.

According to 61 percent of respondents, retailers can look to alleviate consumer concerns by offering identity protection services – up 6 percent from the year prior.

This year, the survey found that Americans will be splitting their shopping via online and physical channels with 65 percent indicating they would purchase online via a retailer’s website and 63 percent indicated they would do their shopping at a brick and mortar store.

Ordering online via mobile app (33%) and online ordering with in-store pick up (18%) were also popular among shoppers this year. Whether it’s brick-and-mortar or online, 67 percent of holiday shoppers plan to shop at 2-5 stores, with another 25 percent saying they will go to more than six stores this holiday season.

This year respondents were asked to indicate which of the top three retailers (Amazon, Walmart, and Target) they would trust the most with their data. Amazon was considered the most trustworthy by far with 50 percent of shoppers indicating they trusted the online retail behemoth the most. Walmart won the trust of 24 percent of shoppers, while only 8 percent trusted Target to protect their personal data.

Paige Schaffer, CEO, Global Identity and Cyber Protection Services, commented on today’s news:

“With online retail creating a movement toward credit card purchases, the average consumer is providing identity thieves with more exposure to their personal data than ever before. After some of the major breaches we saw impact credit card providers, we updated the focus of this year’s survey to look at consumers’ feelings around using credit cards, which can create multiple access points for identity thieves to exploit.”

When it comes to identity theft, data breaches to online merchants (47%) were still the biggest threat in shoppers’ minds. Even after the high-profile breaches of credit card providers that occurred this past year, only 37 percent of consumers indicated that they felt a breach of their card provider was the greatest threat.

Thirty percent believed brick-and-mortar point-of-sale systems were the biggest threat to their identity (up 5% last year), while 25 percent felt physical identity theft by either break-in or pickpocket was the greatest threat.

When asked how many credit cards they would use when doing their holiday shopping this year, 39 percent of shoppers indicated they would use more than one card. When asked why, 35 percent indicated they wanted to earn points or miles, 32 percent wanted to spread the cost among multiple cards, and 30 percent wanted to take advantage of retailer-specific deals.

Results also show that Millennials favour using multiple cards to earn points or miles while older generations preferred to spread the cost or take advantage of retailer-related rewards. As recent breaches have shown, having multiple credit cards to take advantage of miles or discounts can pose a major risk to a shopper’s identity.

Schaffer concluded, “It’s important for shoppers to remain alert and monitor their credit card activity during this holiday shopping season.  We recommend shoppers who use credit cards look for ones that provide identity protection services as well as anti-fraud features such as notification alerts for transactions. This will help consumers avoid the added stress of having to deal with a stolen identity while searching for that perfect gift.”


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