Consumers Fear Data Theft over Stolen Wallet, Car

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Ensuring consumer security requires an understanding of what data consumers value, as well as an awareness of their perceptions and experience with breaches. This is what Radware attempted to learn when it queried more than 3,000 consumers in its survey, Consumer Sentiments: Cybersecurity, Personal Data and the Impact on Customer Loyalty.

Of those who participated in the survey, 55% said that data theft ranked top of the list when it came to theft of their personal property. By comparison, 23% said they were concerned about the theft of their wallets, while 10% feared having their car stolen. Only 6% of respondents worried about the theft of their cell phone and house keys.

“It’s no surprise that data theft ranks so high in the minds of Americans as a major risk,” said Anna Convery-Pelletier, chief marketing officer for Radware, in today’s press release. “It’s easy to buy a new car or a new cell phone, but having private data exposed can have permanent consequences for both the consumer and the brand where the breach occurred. When an organization does not properly secure its network, it is putting its brand reputation in jeopardy and risking its customer base.”

Having their Social Security numbers pilfered was the biggest concern for 54% of respondents, yet only 18% had the same worry when it came to their banking information. As little as 9% of the survey respondents said that having their healthcare records stolen was a paramount concern, yet healthcare records have a black market value of anywhere from $10 to $1,000, while Social Security numbers are valued between $2 and $25.

A notable disparity exists between the data that consumers are the most worried about protecting and the dollar value that data has to cyber-criminals, which the reports suggested underscores the fluidity of the value of personal information. “Just like financial markets, the value of personal information rises and falls based on political, economic and social factors. The economic principles of supply and demand also affect how cyber-criminals sell and purchase stolen information.”

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