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Breaches Cause Skittish Attitudes Among Holiday Shoppers

Many consumers no longer sure of the security of their transactions, study says

Holiday shoppers are in stores and online again this year -- but they don't feel too safe doing it, according to a report scheduled to be published Monday by security vendor Utimaco.

The study, which was conducted by a third-party research company, asked consumers about their attitudes toward security and credit card fraud following high-profile security breaches at retailers such as the TJX Companies. (See TJX Settles With Banks for $41 Million.)

The study shows a widespread lack of confidence in retailers' security systems. Eighty-nine percent of the respondents said they believe a breach similar to the TJX leak is likely to happen again. Forty-nine percent said they do not think retailers are doing more to protect consumer data, according to Utimaco.

Fifty-eight percent of consumers say they do not assume their personal data and credit card information is safe when they shop, the study says. Forty-seven percent say that recent breaches of personal information security make them feel less comfortable using credit card information when shopping online.

"Holiday shoppers have been rocked by the magnitude and severity of data security threats that have impacted leaders such as TJX Companies, Stop & Shop, and others," said Craig Bumpus, COO of Utimaco America. "In addition to capturing the consumer pulse around personal and credit card data, this survey is a wakeup call to retailers worldwide. [They] must deploy processes and technologies that will stem the tide of data breaches and ensure consumer protection."

Other vendors offered similar warnings to retailers and consumers. (See Cybercriminals Ready for Banner Holiday Shopping Season, Check Point Urges Shoppers to Be Cautious, and Norton, McAfee & Kaspersky Fighting for Seagate's HDD Security.)

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