Data Breaches Continue to Cause Consumer Concern

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A recent survey by TheStreet notes that the majority of consumers fear their credit card and other personal information may be stolen as a result of retailer data breaches.

News of the Home Depot data breach early this fall rocked consumer confidence regarding the protection of personal information, especially following Target’s comparable data breach in 2013. Although 20 percent of consumers would consider paying with a digital wallet, such as Apple Pay, most would opt to use cash instead of plastic at stores that have been the subject of such breaches, according to a recent study by TheStreet and Gfk, a custom research company.

Most consumers would opt to use cash instead of plastic at stores that have been the subject of data breaches.

“Ultimately, the paranoia, the brouhaha, the face-palming and the consumer fears are all irrational,” said Ross Kenneth Urken, personal finance editor for TheStreet, in a news release. “There’s no need to flock to cash-only camp. Americans are clearly concerned about using the plastic, instead, they should just be extra vigilant about checking their credit card accounts online and pulling their free annual credit report to verify no one has made any fraudulent accounts in their name.”

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Photo courtesy of PR Newswire/The Street

Other interesting findings from the survey include the fact that men are more apprehensive than women when it comes to their personal information. Of those surveyed, 71 percent of men are concerned that their personal information will be stolen via major retailers, while only 61 percent of women share that concern. More than half of men — 58 percent — will let such concern alter the way that they shop, versus 47 percent of women.

There is also a generational difference in privacy concerns. Millennials are more likely to alter shopping behavior as a result of data breaches than baby boomers are, with 61 percent of respondents 18 to 24 opting to use cash instead of plastic when shopping. Only 49 percent of those over the age of 65 would make the same switch.

Have your customers changed their payment methods lately? If so, what type of payment form do they generally prefer? Tell us in the comments below.

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