Online retail sales may be hampered because of online and offline data breaches over the past few months, according to a new survey. Target's (NYSE:TGT) now infamous credit and debit card breach spooked many shoppers, as did hacks against online giants such as eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY), which compromised 112 million user accounts.
Nearly 25 percent of Americans have temporarily stopped buying anything online in recent weeks, the USA TODAY survey found. Surprisingly, 56 percent said they had cut back on the number of Internet sites they used and were only going to large, well-known companies they felt confident were safe to use.
"It's pretty amazing to me that people were willing to pull the plug on their habits," Cameron Camp, a security expert with ESET, a San Diego-based security and antivirus company, told USA TODAY.
However, the survey found that consumers with less education and lower incomes were more likely to stop buying anything online. Those with more education and higher incomes were more likely to have changed passwords and cut back on the sites they use.
Thirty percent of people who had not attended any college had stopped buying online, compared to 16 percent of those with college degrees, according to USA TODAY.
Those with higher incomes and more education also opted to change their passwords. Sixty-six percent of those with college degrees and 73 percent of those making $75,000 or more had changed passwords, compared to 56 percent of those with no college and 55 percent of those with incomes under $30,000.
Seniors were least likely to have changed passwords – only 47 percent said they changed them – and men were more likely to have changed passwords than women, according to the survey.
-See this USA TODAY article
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