News Feature | March 6, 2017

Consumers Not Deterred By Hacking And Security Concerns

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Videos Provide Insight Into Techniques, Motives For Hacking Apps

Just 19 percent of internet users said security fears made them alter online spending habits.

Despite the long list of retail data breaches that have been splashed across the front pages of the newspapers in recent times, consumers have not been deterred by hacking and security concerns, according to new research from eMarketer. In fact, while the retail sector has become increasingly sensitive to security concerns and the potential harm they could do to customer relationships, only 19 percent of internet users surveyed by Blumberg Capital said fears about hacking episodes and stolen data had forced them to cut back on online spending.

Just 4 percent of respondents said that they had chosen to eliminate digital shopping altogether in response to security threats.

The results support findings from surveys by KPMG and Thales Group in the last year  that suggested widely reported incidents of online retailers being hacked did not cause consumers to change their online shopping habits. The March KPMG survey found that 81 percent of internet users would reportedly continue to shop at a retailer in the wake of a security breach. The December 2016 Thales study determined that just 20 percent said that they would stop shopping at a retailer in the wake of a credit card breach, while 55 percent would still shop, but using cash. Surprisingly, 25 percent said that a breach would make no difference at all to them in terms of their shopping habits and payment methods.

One third (33 percent) of those surveyed did report that hacking incidents and security concerns led  them to adopt preventive measures including not saving their credit card data on e-commerce sites, while about 29 percent said they were making an effort to change their passwords regularly.

An additional KPMG study in August of 2016 showed that cyber attacks could be costly for retailers, demonstrating a strong disconnect between consumers and retail executives. The August study suggested that potential hacks and gaps in security of digital strategies could cause consumer alarm and lead to the loss of as much as 20 percent of a retailer’s customers.