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How retailers should respond to security breaches: according to their customers

Online shoppers want retailers to be transparent and honest if they have suffered a security breach, finds a new UK consumer survey commissioned by NTT Security. The research, ahead of one of the busiest online shopping periods in the lead up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday and Christmas, also reveals that customers want to know if a site has been hacked or personal data compromised.

Asked what they would like retailers to do to help build consumer trust when shopping online, 80 percent of survey respondents say they expect more transparency following a breach, as well as more secure payment systems on sites, and retailers insisting that customers use stronger passwords and to change them regularly.

However, in a year when a number of major retailers suffered high profile and embarrassing data breaches, potentially exposing customers’ confidential information, a third still say they would carry on using an online store that suffered a breach, but would take the initiative to upgrade their security or if advised to by the retailer. Just 18 percent would stop using a site permanently.

Concerns about shopping online are evident, with the majority worried about the privacy of personal information (63 percent), a site being fake (63 percent) and the risk of being sent phishing emails that link to malware (60 percent). Shoppers also worry about the risk of identity theft, and paying online.

At the same time, people are becoming more aware of security best practices when they shop online. More than 40 percent of people believe that retailers should publish their privacy policies to allow customers to see how data is being handled and stored, while a third (32 percent) want stores to listen and respond to customer concerns on social media to help build consumer trust.

The NTT Security online shopper survey was conducted by SurveyMonkey in November 2016 among 500+ UK respondents. Respondents were split evenly across different age groups and male/female.

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