• United States



by Paul Kerstein

Fear of Identity Theft Bad for Business

Nov 23, 20052 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Most online shoppers say they’ll take their business elsewhere if theyfind out their personal information was compromised, according to asurvey of U.S. Internet users. The results of the study show thatconsumers are aware of identity theft and that companies are likely tolose business if they fail to handle customer information securely.

Two-thirds of adults with Internet connectivity who participated in thesurvey expect to shop online this holiday season, with 14 percent ofthem planning to do half or more of their holiday shopping online. But67 percent of Internet users who were part of the study said they werelikely to stop shopping at an online store if they found out that theirpersonal information was compromised.

Half of the respondents said they were likely to switch financialinstitutions if they found out that their personal data stored by thebank had been compromised.

An increasing awareness of identity theft may be driving these Internetusers to say they’ll change their behavior if their personalinformation is threatened. Thirty-four percent of those surveyed saidthey’d either been a victim of identity theft or they know someone whohas been a victim. Eighty-three percent said they think people are morelikely to become victims of identity fraud around the holidays.

The study was commissioned by Sun Microsystems Inc. and carried out byHarris Interactive Inc. More than 2,000 adults across the U.S. tookpart in the study.

Sun warned that consumers should be careful when releasing informationsuch as Social Security Numbers and said that companies need tomitigate the risk of identity threat by employing security mechanisms.

By Nancy Gohring – IDG News Service (Dublin Bureau)