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High Profile Security Breaches Have Made the Majority of Online Shoppers Even More Security Conscious

TMCnet Feature

July 28, 2014

High Profile Security Breaches Have Made the Majority of Online Shoppers Even More Security Conscious

By Joe Rizzo
TMCnet Contributing Writer

It was just about a year ago, that I was invited to a Mobility Strategy and Customer Experience that was hosted by Mindtree and Kony. What was interesting about this event was that I got to meet with several senior banking executives for a roundtable discussion of mobile commerce and some of its obstacles.

The members of each financial institution had their own unique set of goals and problems. A lot of interesting information was shared by everyone present at the event. It is true that there were a lot more questions than there were answers. However, the questions did make everyone focus on what they saw as the immediate problems to solve. It is not surprising that, at least in America the main issue of concern was security.

A few months later during last year’s holiday season, we experienced what everyone was afraid of. Huge retail chains were hacked and valuable credit card information was accessed. So if people weren’t already nervous about security issues you can rest assured they are now.

According to a recent survey conducted by eDigitalResearch, 50 percent of online shoppers feel that retailers could be doing more to keep them safe online. The periodical reminders that most people receive to change or update their passwords along with the security notifications only satisfies a small amount of people.

eDigitalResearch is a company that help businesses to grow by providing personalized insight programs. The company works closely with clients to deliver a range of insight solutions including customer experience management, voice of the customer feedback and multichannel consumer insight.

Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) is the U.K.'s industry association for e-retail. Together these two companies conducted an eCustomerServiceIndex (eCSI) survey of 2,035 online shoppers. The survey was conducted from July 9-15, 2014. They used a nationally representative sample from a consumer omnibus panel.

Most feel that it is the retailers’ responsibility to provide the strongest security measures and privacy policies possible. The overall feeling is that this is something that the retailers should invest in. While these people had a better feeling of being secure a year ago, with all that has happened since the end of 2013, they are feeling more conscious of a lack of security these days.

Derek Eccleston, who is commercial director at eDigitalResearch, made the following comments, "It is clear from our latest set of results that security really has become a crucial factor in the online customer journey for consumers. Onus from consumers is very much on retailers to invest in and improve their security measures for their online customers, over two thirds (67 percent) expect organizations to contact them immediately (within 6 hours) by email or phone if security had been breached and it leads to a potential loss of data."

A frightening piece of information that was revealed by this survey is that there was a significant percentage of respondents who were not even aware of basic security measures, including regular password updates. Less than 43 percent admitted to changing their passwords within a six month period, while an alarming six percent did not even know that they could do this.

Everyone should be aware of this capability and every retailer should make sure that it is always available to all of their customers. Unfortunately, it seems that only about 69 percent of the respondents said that they use a different password for different sites. Again, it is scary that five percent did not know they could use different passwords.

Most people that have worked in an office with strict security measures know the most beneficial way to use and update passwords, but we are not necessarily talking about those people when it comes to mobile commerce. It is obvious from these results that more people need to be educated on how to use passwords, as well as security and privacy features.

"These findings are interesting in that industry has invested heavily over the last 5 years in standardizing and improving card payment security. Yes, big data breaches are of enormous concern but careful management of our own data limits the impact that these will have. We as consumers must be much more aware of who we are giving our data to, how often we update passwords and making sure our anti-virus programs are kept up-to-date. It is in retailers interests to ensure that their customers are safe when shopping online and they continue to invest in security measures. New data protection regulation from the European Parliament is due to come into force shortly, helping to raise the bar even further and providing consumers with further protection." These were comments made by Andrew McClelland, COO of IMRG.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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