The majority of online shoppers want retailers to be transparent and honest if they have suffered a security breach, a new UK consumer survey commissioned by NTT Security reveals.
The NTT Security online shopper survey was conducted by SurveyMonkey on more 500 UK shoppers. Respondents were split evenly across different age groups and male/female.
The research, presented by the global information security and risk management company ahead of one of the busiest online shopping periods, reveals that customers want to know if a site has been hacked or personal data compromised.
When asked what they would like retailers to do to help build consumer trust when shopping online, 80% 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 data breaches, potentially exposing customers’ confidential information, a third still admit they would carry on using an online store that suffered a breach, but would upgrade their security if advised to by the retailer. One 18% of respondents said they would stop using a site permanently.
Concerns about shopping online are evident, with the majority worried about the privacy of personal information (63%), a site being fake (63%) and the risk of being sent phishing emails that link to malware (60%). 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% 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%) want stores to listen and respond to customer concerns on social media to help build consumer trust.
Director at NTT Security, Stuart Reed, comments: “The retail sector is among one of the most targeted industries for attacks and, with one of the busiest trading periods of the year now upon us, it makes sense that both consumers and retailers are diligent in terms of data security.
“Consumers certainly seem to be growing in security awareness when online; more savvy, they are willing to take responsibility for their own security to some extent, but they are also more demanding of retailers and expect to see privacy and security polices displayed clearly on websites.”
Reed warns retailers: “Whilst seasonal trading might result in a spike of targeted attacks, it’s important to remember that in a connected, global economy, cyber threats are present 24 hours a day, every day of the year, so it’s crucial that online retailers get the basics right combined with a balanced and well communicated approach to cybersecurity at all times.”
Ranking the most trusted to least trusted, the NTT security reveals the online ‘Trust List’ as follows:
1. Bank/insurance company
2. Healthcare provider/NHS
3. HMRC/other government site
4. Online-only retailer (e.g Amazon)
5. High street retailer with online presence
6. Utility company
7. Music, book, app, film site (eg iTunes, Netflix)
8. Travel site
9. Social media
10. Online dating site