business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Election Day is today, and here's a poll number that should worry every retailer.

The annual Gallup Crime Poll is out, the it reveals that 69 percent of respondents say that they "frequently or occasionally worry" about "having the credit card information you have used at stores stolen by computer hackers," with 62 percent saying that they "frequently or occasionally worry" about "having your computer or smartphone hacked and the information stolen by unauthorized persons."

Compare that to 45 percent who worry about their homes being burglarized, 42 percent who worry about having their cars stolen or broken into, 31 percent who worry about having a school-aged child harmed while at school, 31 percent who worry about being mugged, and 28 percent who worry about being a victim of terrorism.

Now, there are certain demographic trends that mark these numbers. For example, "Upper-income Americans, those whose household incomes are $75,000 or more a year, are more likely than lower-income Americans to worry frequently or occasionally about hacking of their credit card information, 85% to 50%. Americans between the ages of 30 and 64 worry about this more than younger and older Americans do."

But the numbers suggest that the headlines and stories about data breaches at places like Target and Home Depot have begun to have an impact on consumers' mindsets.

And that's an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: