Security Magazine

Despite Concerns, Most Americans Doing Little about Personal Data Security

January 29, 2014

While American shoppers say they are very concerned about the safety of their personal information following the massive security breach at Target, many aren’t taking steps to ensure their data is secure.

According to a new Associated Press—GfK Poll, Americans say they fear becoming victims of theft after the breach, but they are apathetic in protecting their data. Nearly half of Americans say they are extremely concerned about their personal data when shopping in stores since the breach. Sixty-one percent say they have deep worries about shopping online, and 62 percent are very concerned about making purchases from their mobile phones.

However, the AP report says, just 37 percent of surveyed consumers have tried to use cash for purchases rather than pay with plastic, and only 41 percent have checked their credit reports. Even fewer have changed their online passwords at retailers’ websites, requested new credit or debit card numbers, or signed up for a credit monitoring service.

Security experts say the results show that Americans have come to expect that data theft is a possibility when they use their credit or debit cards, or provide retailers with personal information.

Just 37 percent of the survey-takers say consumers bear most of the responsibility for keeping data safe; 88 percent place the burden on the retailers who are collecting it. Six in 10 say banks or credit bureaus should bear most of the responsibilities.

Among Americans who have been victims of personal identity theft, however, the sentiment is different. Fifty-two percent of these survey-takers have checked their credit report, and 41 percent have tried to use more cash. Twenty-eight percent have signed up for a credit monitoring service, the article says.