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While this time of year is always huge for online retail, there is likely to be a much larger number of people turning to the Internet for their holiday purchases than usual… and, it would seem, a larger number of people taking security into consideration as they do so. Let’s examine how consumers are taking their data into their own hands and what this means for your business.

Balancing Security Against the User Experience

While most users—about 75 percent of them—see no difference in the security offered by retail websites, approximately 15 percent have decided against a purchase because of security concerns. Another 14 percent of shoppers declined to buy from a website out of uncertainty over their data handling measures.

With this increase in security awareness, it is likely that retailers will find themselves in a position where they will have little choice but to innovate and improve their security—especially considering that estimates have seen retail sales only increasing by about 1.5 percent, as compared to a 25-to-35 percent boost in online commerce.

That said, it is also clear that security features cannot get in the way of the user experience.

When a third of consumers wouldn’t hesitate to delete an application if they experienced login challenges, the usability of a given authentication measure is just as important to consider as its security. This is reflected in the overall desire to replace passwords with other, easier-to-use authentication measures like biometrics.

The Real Issue Comes with the Privacy Concerns

Another survey indicated that consumers are, perhaps predictably, very conscious of their data privacy. This survey indicated that 70 percent of consumers look at their ability to deny the developers of an application the ability to sell the data they’ve collected as a key consideration over whether they’ll use that app or not.

Interestingly, these users will often hand data over otherwise: 72 percent will trade their name and email for a discount, with 56 percent adding their birthday and 53 percent handing over their address.

Because of this, it falls to the business collecting this kind of data to reconsider whether they need all the data they are collecting and to reduce their collection practices to better match their practical needs. For example, many businesses and retailers will send coupons or special offers to a contact on their birthday.

Tell me, to do that, do you need to know what year a given contact was born in?

This kind of extraneous data only puts your company at greater risk, as it could lead to a greater impact if that data were ever leaked or compromised.

Security is Crucial for Any Kind of Business

Regardless of whether you’re in the retail space or you function in an entirely different industry, your clientele/customer base is likely just as concerned about the privacy of all the data you collect from them… or in other words, their data.

If you are to maintain operations, you need to ensure you have the protections in place to keep this data—as well as any you generate during your processes—safely secured against all kinds of threats.

DS Tech and our team of IT professionals can help you accomplish this. To learn more about the cybersecurity protections we have to offer, give us a call at (906) 786-0057 and ask.