Skip to main content

Hacking Has Majority of Americans Worried

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The increasing number of cybersecurity attacks taking aim at U.S. retailers is concerning the American public, according to a new survey released by Gallup.

More than two-thirds of Americans (69 percent) say they frequently or occasionally worry about having the credit card information they used at retail stores stolen by computer hackers.

Those with higher household incomes are more concerned. A whopping 85 percent of Americans with household incomes of $75,000-plus say they worry about computer hacking, while only half of those in the $30,000-or-less household income range report the same, Gallup noted in its annual Crime Report.

The research firm said these results are easily explainable as higher-income Americans spend more money on a daily basis. Conversely, 58 percent of lower-income Americans stated in a separate Gallup poll in April that they do not own a credit card.

Consumers perhaps have a reason to be concerned, as 27 percent report they or another household member already have had their information attacked, according to Gallup. However, only 45 percent of consumers reported these incidents to the police.

Gallup concluded that hacking may affect consumer shopping habits. "Consumers may avoid stores that have been hacked, and begin paying more frequently with cash or prepaid to protect their identities," the researcher wrote in its Crime Report.

In an attempt to thwart cyberhacking incidents, credit card companies have begun dispatching EMV (Europay, Visa and MasterCard) compatible cards, which feature chip-and-PIN or chip-and-signature security methods.

Gallup's poll was based on telephone interviews with 1,017 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Crime Report survey was conducted Oct. 12-15.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds