Will data breaches affect holiday shopping this year?

This year has seen numerous data breaches impact several prominent retailers, from incidents at Home Depot and Kmart to the investigation currently underway at Staples. According to several reports, consumers are split down the middle about whether or not they are concerned about having their information stolen during the holidays. 

According to one survey conducted by CreditCards.com, 45 percent of consumers don't plan on shopping at breached stores during the holiday season. Deloitte also reported a study finding that 56 percent of customers will do business with retailers that have been breached in the past. 

"The consumer's now somewhat desensitized [to breaches]," Rod Sides, principal at Deloitte Consulting, told CNBC. Data breaches now seem commonplace to about half of the consumer population, which is good news for retailers that are aiming to ramp up holiday sales.

CreditCards.com also reports that consumers in higher-income households are particularly unconcerned about breaches. According to the study, only 31 percent of households earning $75,000 said they would avoid stores that had been breached, while 56 percent of households earning less than $30,000 reported avoiding stores that had been affected by cyber-crime. 

Breaches also seem to affect older shoppers more than younger ones, possibly because younger generations have grown up with technology and informational sharing.

Overall, though, consumers are showing increased optimism about the economy and holiday season, and the fear of breaches isn't expected to dramatically change sales numbers, especially since retailers are working overtime to attract customers. 

"Even a really good sale sometimes can trump customers' data concerns," said Matt Schulz, a senior industry analyst with CreditCards.com. 

Make sure that your business is operating a secure credit card pos software, so you don't have to worry about anything during the busiest season of the year.

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