The recent Gallup poll has some new insights about the shift in how Americans feel about being a victim.
The highest fear is having credit card information a customer used at a store stolen – a huge 69% worry about this.
A close second highest concern (62%) is having a computer or smartphone hacked and information stolen.
Fewer people now worry about being killed by a co-worker (7%), being sexually assaulted (18%) or being a victim of terrorism (28%).
When one considers that over 50% of Americans have had a credit card compromised or data stolen, no wonder people are worried.
|Having the credit card information you have used at stores stolen by computer hackers
|Having your computer or smartphone hacked and the information stolen by an unauthorized person
|Your home being burglarized when you are not there
|Having a school-aged child physically harmed attending school
|Being a victim of terrorism
|Being sexually assaulted
|Being assaulted/killed by a coworker/employee where you work
For more information about the poll, visit Gallup.com
What This Means to Small Businesses
As a small business, you can help your customers with trust and confidence in your credit card processing. Discuss with your merchant processor what security measures they take and share highlights with your customers. As mentioned in a previous blog, the PCI Security Standards Council is a great resource for businesses that process payments.
Make sure you are protecting your customers’ data by encrypting it, placing it behind a strong firewall and limited employee access and other common security measures. This applies to business customers using a business credit card for invoice payment as well as consumers using a credit or debit card for purchases.
If your business has its own mobile device application that your customers use, make sure your developer coded strong security coding. You might want to have a security-focused developer review the coding to see if enhancements are needed.
The fear of having a computer or smartphone hacked can include devices used for business. You may want to review (or create) your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. Hold a 30 minute staff meeting to discuss why security measures must be followed on BYOD, for the employee’s sake and the business’s sake.
If you are a merchant, you might consider working with your local merchants association and prepare a customer handout. Provide a handout this shopping season to customers to explain how the merchants are taking precautions and what the customers can do to shop safely might strengthen your “shop local” campaign.
For online merchants, you could add a sidebar to your website explaining your safe processing activities. This might help turn lookers into actual customers.
The more your small businesses does to help your customers know you are taking action to protect them, the stronger your relationship will be with your valued customers.