Editorial: Overcoming the Fear Factor
The Federal Trade Commission said in its latest annual report on consumer complaints that credit card fraud is the most commonly reported type of fraud resulting from identity theft. According to Forrester Research, people who won't buy online tend to have a lower household income and are less likely to have a college degree. Also of concern is how much data is collected and what's done with it. Thirty-five percent of online shoppers don't think it's worth providing personal information in exchange for a personalized shopping experience.
Who's hit hardest in all this uncertainty? Small e-tailers, eMarketer says. "As larger retailers improve their fraud prevention capabilities, criminals shift their attention to smaller merchants who lack the resources to combat fraud with the same vigor as their bigger peers," the report said.
I have a few friends - young and old - who won't shop online. They're uncomfortable entering their credit card numbers and watching the information disappear into the Internet. They say they'd rather call a company's toll-free number or go to the store. Even DM News' privacy columnist Bob Gellman worries about it. In his column earlier this month, Bob said he used to buy items on the Internet all the time, "but I have grown so wary in the past three years that I am now reluctant to do business with anyone new." Now, Bob is not your typical shopper, and he's very thorough in his research of a company before he makes a purchase. For more details on that, you'll have to read his column.