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BizReport : Research : October 12, 2006

Security Worries High, Trust Low

A study is throwing cold water on the belief that customer satisfaction with purchases is all marketers need to be concerned with. Worries about the security of user information are at an all time high, and consumer trust is low enough to affect customer loyalty.

by Kristina Knight

According to the report from the CMO Council, 40% of online consumers have stopped a transaction because of security worries. More than 50% of consumers polled in the U.S. and Europe say their information security worries are increasing.

The study indicates that 2005 was the worst year yet for security breaches. So far 2006 is nearly measuring up to the number of security risks. In February hackers stole the information of 200,000 people from banks and credit unions. In March, the laptop of a Fidelity Investments employee was stolen. It had the personal information of 196,000 people, and in June a laptop belonging to an Ernst & Young employee was taken. It contained the information for thousands of users.

In the U.S. fraudulent emails are a growing concern. More than any other country, 60% of U.S. residents say they have received a spoof email purporting to be from their financial institution and wanting their information.

So what is a marketer to do?

Online marketers and businesses must operate at a higher level of customer safety than any other business type. Offering secure transaction centers, operating state of the art security on databases and not sharing or selling customer information are high on the list of things consumers want from stores. Remember, there are a plethora of other businesses on the web from which users can choose. Increasing your security measures is one way to build customer loyalty.

Tags: customer satisfaction, security concerns

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