Consumers more aware after data breaches

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Retail data breaches have consumers more aware of the need to protect their identity during the busy holiday shopping season, according to a new survey from Experian.

In fact, more than 70 percent of respondents shopping in stores said they plan to stay aware of their surroundings when shopping. Consumers also expect retailers to keep their information safe: 79 percent would like to hear from retailers as to how those retailers plan to protect personal and credit card information – before the holiday shopping starts.

However, the survey demonstrates that consumers could do a little more to protect their own information. For example, of those planning to shop online, nearly 40 percent still don't check to see if the site is secure. In-store, only 41 percent of respondents cover the PIN pad at registers when entering that information, leaving them exposed to "shoulder surfers."

"Many of this season's holiday shoppers received retail data breach notifications during the past few years and they feel that their identities are at risk more than ever before, whether shopping online or in-store," said Becky Frost, senior manager of consumer education for Experian's ProtectMyID. "However, consumers should understand that it's not just about retailers keeping their information secure; often an identity thief only needs a shopper's momentary lapse in focus to walk away with an unintended 'holiday gift' of personal information."

More survey results:

Shoppers' game plan

Retail breach victims* take action

Tips to protect your identity while holiday shopping

* Survey respondents who acknowledged having received a breach notification.

Survey methodology
The online survey was conducted by Edelman Berland on behalf of Experian from Oct. 29, 2014, through Nov. 3, 2014, among 1,005 adults ages 18 and older residing in the United States. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percent.


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