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At least 145 million Americans — half the population of the United States — were impacted by the recent data breach at Equifax that netted thieves personal information such as names, addresses, birthdates, Social Security Numbers and driver’s license numbers.
That pales in comparison to the earlier Yahoo breaches, which affected more than 1 billion accounts.
However, those incidents may be just the tip of a very large iceberg, as reports of data breaches just keep on coming.
Data Breach Disillusionment
“Consumer confidence is at an all-time low,” said Paige Schaffer, COO of the identity and digital protection services global unit at Generali Global Assistance.
“We did a survey with ORC International that found 40 percent of consumers believe businesses aren’t doing all they can to protect their personal information,” she told the E-Commerce Times. “Further, three in four holiday shoppers say they’re either very concerned or somewhat concerned about their financial or personal information being compromised due to a data breach this season.”
Still, “75 percent of holiday shoppers say they’ll be doing at least some of their shopping online,” Schaffer pointed out.
Consumer spending will be up 3.4 percent year over year this holiday season, to total almost US$680 billion, according to the National Retail Foundation.
Companies that want to nail down their share of the bonanza must not only make sure their systems are secure, but also make sure that shoppers know they’re in good hands.
Here are some ways e-commerce firms can reassure skittish customers and potential customers.