Three out of four adults have changed online behaviors due to cybercrime

After several high-profile data breaches in the past few years, cybercrime is an issue businesses are taking seriously and, it turns out, so are consumers.

A recent study from the University of Phoenix has highlighted some important data on how consumers view cybercrime. The study reports nearly three out of every four adults (or 74 percent) in the U.S. say they have changed their online behaviors due to the threat of cybercrime. Forty-two percent of respondents feel less secure than they did five years ago, but despite these feelings 81 percent reported not investing in online theft or identity theft protection.

Retail was one of the most negatively viewed industries for cyber crime, beaten only by the government. Only 50 percent of consumers trust the retail industry with their personal data.

It’s also important to note that 93 percent of respondents want both the public and private sectors to do more when it comes to fighting cybercrime. Most Americans want to see an investment in cybersecurity (72 percent) or in increased personnel (46 percent).

If you haven’t started taking cybersecurity seriously in your business yet, it is clear that now is the time to do so. If not, you risk losing the trust of your current or potential customers.

A Forbes article highlighted important tips for consumers to protect their identity, among which are not opening emails from unknown sources and contacting organizations directly if emails ask for personal information, as most companies don’t do this.

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These are points we should be aware of as they impact how we make business choices. We should never ask for personal information in our emails and we should be sure we are building relationships with our customers, so that our messages are not filed away as an “unknown source” by mistake.

And if you haven’t taken on the task of getting familiar with cybersecurity or hiring someone who is, now is the time.

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