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Nearly Half Of Americans Likely To Avoid Retailers Affected By Data Breaches


This holiday season, nearly half of Americans are likely to avoid shopping at stores that were affected by data breaches over the past year, according to a new CreditCards.com report. This includes large retailers like Target, Home Depot and Neiman Marcus.

Forty-five percent of major credit and debit card holders say they would “definitely” or “probably not” shop at a retailer where consumers’ personal information (including credit and debit card data) was exposed. This includes 29 percent who probably would not shop there, even if they used to frequent the store, and 16 percent who definitely would no longer shop there.

breached-store-padlockA silver lining for retailers is that the highest-income households (those with annual income of $75,000 or above) are the least likely to avoid affected stores (only 31 percent say they would do so, vs. 56 percent of households with annual income under $30,000). And women are significantly more likely to continue shopping at affected stores than men.

Just one in eight Americans says they are more likely to shop with credit cards this holiday season. Yet this is the right approach.

“It may sound weird, but the truth is that credit cards offer far greater consumer protections than debit cards, cash or other payment methods,” according to Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com’s senior industry analyst. “This data seems to indicate that some consumers are getting the message.”

Forty-eight percent of major credit and debit card holders plan to pay with cash more frequently this holiday season in response to the data breaches.

Princeton Survey Research Associates International obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 865 major credit and debit card holders living in the continental U.S. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline and cell phone in English and Spanish from Oct. 2-5. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

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