25% would still use a site that suffered a data breach

While more than two thirds (68%) of online users would immediately stop using a bank or retailer if the site suffered a security attack or data breach, a quarter would continue using the site.

This is according to a survey conducted for global information security and risk management company, NTT Com Security.

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The poll of more than 500 UK consumers explores ‘consumer trust’ in online sites, including retailers, banks, social networks and dating sites, and comes in the wake of a number of major security breaches and ahead of one of the biggest online shopping periods – Black Friday and Christmas – over the next few weeks.

According to the survey, less than a third of people plan to shop online for bargains over Black Friday this week (27 November), with the majority (70%) saying they have no plans to do so, Less than a quarter (23%) will do ‘some’ shopping online, while just 7% will do ‘most’ or ‘all’ of it online. However, nearly all (79%) will do ‘most’ or ‘some’ Christmas shopping online.

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When asked what they would do if their online bank or retailer suffered a security attack, nearly a quarter (24%) would stop using the site and move to another supplier, and 44% would stop using it until the problem was fixed. However, 14% would only stop using the site if it suffered another security problem, while 11% would carry on using it anyway.

Other survey insights:

Theft of credit card information is seen as the biggest threat to privacy when online (84%), followed by identity theft (80%), viruses (70%), scam emails (60%) and governments/companies tracking your activity (35%).

Concerns over privacy/safety of personal information (66%) and fears over fake or fraudulent websites (69%) are the top reasons that prevent people from using an online site, while 32% worry about making online payments.

Banks are the most trustworthy websites, followed by healthcare providers (doctors/ hospitals) and insurance firms. Online dating sites are the least trustworthy, followed by social networks.

Stuart Reed, senior director of global product marketing at NTT Com Security, says, “Online businesses take note. While a significant minority says it would carry on using a site if it suffered a data breach, the majority would not – and this is lost business that will very difficult to get back. It appears that concerns over theft and privacy of personal information is still a very real concern for people considering using services and shopping online. Given the number and scale of data breaches this year, it’s no surprise that people are concerned. But opportunities like Black Friday come round once a year and retailers should be capitalising on a potential online shopping bonanza.”

“Absolute confidence in a site’s ability to protect personal information is integral to consumer trust. So it’s vital that businesses can demonstrate this by doing the basics well. Firstly, by ensuring they have the right security processes and procedures in place. Secondly, by having a well defined and well communicated incident response plan should a security breach occur in order to minimise the impact and cost of incidents – our own Global Threat Intelligence Report indicates that 74% of companies do not have an incidence response plan in place. And third, by engaging with customers to help build awareness and show them that the necessary security and privacy levels are in place.”

The NTT Com Security ‘Consumer Trust’ survey was conducted by SurveyMonkey over the weekend of 14-16 November 2015 among 526 respondents (UK consumers who go online). The split was 51% female/49% male and split evenly across four age groups: 18-29/30-44/45-60/60+.

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