Almost a Third of Americans Won't Shop Online Due to Security Concerns

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As Black Friday approaches, a recent Veridium survey of 2,029 U.S. consumers found that 29.4 percent of respondents will avoid shopping online entirely this year due to concerns about data breaches, and another 14 percent said they're less likely to shop online for the same reason.

"Americans are understandably nervous about using their credit card online given how easily the card number, expiration date and four-digit code on the back of the card are compromised and the low barrier to entry for fraudsters using that information to spend big online," Veridium CTO John Callahan told eSecurity Planet by email. "The security of our payment infrastructure is substantially outdated in most cases, given the ability to check biometrics using smartphones is available."

Separately, a recent TeleSign survey of 1,300 U.S. adults found that almost a third of respondents value their online lives at between $100,000 and priceless, and 55 percent say businesses are primarily responsible for securing their online and mobile accounts.

"When you consider what comprises an online life -- email, banking and social media accounts, personal information, photos and more -- these assets are extremely valuable, even 'priceless' as some reported," TeleSign CEO Aled Miles said in a statement. "With the majority of consumers looking to businesses to keep them safe online, companies need to prioritize strong account security or risk losing valuable users."

Fifty-one percent of respondents said they experienced a security incident in the past year -- a hacked account, stolen password, or theft of personal information. Forty-two percent of victims said the security incidents resulted in losses.

That may be related to the fact that, on average, respondents use the same passwords for seven online accounts, meaning that 71 percent of accounts are protected by reused passwords. Forty-six percent of respondents also use passwords that are more than five years old.

Overall, 82 percent of respondents are concerned about online security, and 88 percent are concerned specifically about being hacked. And 46 percent of respondents said they've enabled two-factor authentication (2FA) for at least one account, up from 39 percent in 2015.

"With all the dangers we face today in our online lives, it's encouraging to see that consumers are becoming increasingly aware of how to protect themselves beyond the password alone," Miles added. "Seventy-three percent are urging companies to provide additional security such as 2FA."

Still, the 2016 Shred-it Security Tracker survey found that just 36 percent of U.S. C-suite respondents recognize that lost or stolen data would have a serious impact on their organizations, and 34 percent of small business owners think a data breach would have no significant impact on their business.

"In addition to being financially ruinous, a data breach can erode a business' public reputation and the confidence of customers," Shred-it senior vice president Kevin Pollack said in a statement. "Understanding the impacts of fraud, identifying organizational vulnerabilities and putting in place proper measures for data protection is one of the most valuable investments you can make to protect your business from the significant financial, legal and reputational damage that a data breach can cause."