Fifty-four percent of online shoppers feel that they are more conscious of their security online compared to 12 months ago following a string of high profile security breaches at various international retailers and brands.

Of the 2,000 online consumers surveyed as part of eDigitalResearch’s and IMRG’s eCustomerServiceIndex (eCSI), half (50%) felt that retailers should be doing more to keep them safe online, especially in the wake of yet  more data and security breaches to hit the news in 2014. Whilst a handful of consumers think that reminders to update passwords and security notifications would be helpful, the majority of respondents feel that it is up to retailers to invest in stringent security and privacy policies to keep customers safe when shopping online.

Derek Eccleston, Commercial Director at eDigitalResearch, comments: “It is clear from our latest set of results that security really has become a crucial factor in the online customer journey for consumers. Onus from consumers is very much on retailers to invest in and improve their security measures for their online customers – over two thirds (67%) expect organisations to contact them immediately (within 6 hours) by email or phone if security had been breached and it leads to a potential loss of data”.

Of the 2,000 online consumers surveyed, almost 1 in 4 (24%) have (or have a family member who has) been a victim of a fraudulent transaction online in the past.

Yet worryingly, a significant percentage of those surveyed were not aware of basic security measures, such as regularly updating their passwords. Under half (43%) said that they update their passwords every 3-6 months, whilst 6% of those surveyed were not aware they could do this. Similarly, just two thirds (69%) use different passwords for different sites and 5% of online consumers were unaware that this is a possibility.

Andrew McClelland, COO of IMRG commented: “These findings are interesting in that industry has invested heavily over the last 5 years in standardising and improving card payment security. Yes, big data breaches are of enormous concern but careful management of our own data limits the impact that these will have. We as consumers must be much more aware of who we are giving our data to, how often we update passwords and making sure our anti-virus programs are kept up-to-date. It is in retailers interests to ensure that their customers are safe when shopping online and they continue to invest in security measures. New data protection regulation from the European Parliament is due to come into force shortly, helping to raise the bar even further and providing consumers with further protection".

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