(July 25, 2016) -- According to a new study by H.R. Rao, AT&T Distinguished Chair in Infrastructure Assurance and Security at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), the willingness of online shoppers to return to a store after a breach is mostly dependent on age.
Online shopping has been on the rise for some time, in many cases even replacing physical stores for things like books and electronics. Rao notes in his study that the industry’s success can be partially attributed to the strength of secure payment methods.
Recently, however, data breaches have threatened the perceived security of e-commerce. Rao and his colleagues began their research just after the 2013 data breach that significantly affected Target. Data from roughly 70 million customers’ debit and credit cards was stolen.
“We decided to examine how much people trust online shopping and how their attitudes might change after a breach,” he said. “We found there was a clear demarcation in the way younger and older adults looked at the incident.”
While Rao found that most people would be more careful after their data had been compromised or even avoid stores like Target after a breach, younger adults were less likely to change their behaviors.
“The differences are in terms of trust,” he said. “Younger people seem to believe that these breaches are just a part of living with technology, but the older generation hasn’t grown up with that same exposure to technology, so they aren’t as trusting.”
Rao and his colleagues had some sense that there might be an age divide in developing trust toward companies like Target after a breach, but he said he still found the results surprising.
“In the end, it’s all about the propensity to take risks,” he said. “The younger generation is simply more comfortable with online behavior, from posting on social media to shopping online.”
Rao found that the younger generation seemed to value convenience more than security, while older adults were inclined to avoid stores affected by data breaches altogether. As Target and other companies work to recover their public image, he hopes the UTSA study will persuade e-commerce sites that they need to do a better job of reassuring their customers after an incident.
“It’s vital for these companies and sites to reestablish trust with their customers,” he said.
Learn more about cybersecurity at UTSA.
Learn more about the UTSA Department of Information Systems and Cybersecurity.
The UTSA Institute for P-20 Initiatives hosts this free breakfast to kick off a new school year and a new opportunity to volunteer at mentoring organizations in our community.
Whataburger, 8680 Fourwinds Dr., San Antonio
As part of the International Cooking Series, the experts in the UTSA Demo Kitchen will show you how to make this stuffed bread Latin dish. Register for this cooking demo here.
Recreation Wellness Center Demo Kitchen, Main Campus
UTSA's annual sustainability festival, showcases the university’s and the City of San Antonio’s progress on researching and developing sustainable solutions to improve the quality life for future generations.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
The institute will feature a performance from Eva Ybarra, the “Queen of the Accordion.” Manuel Medrano will premiere a documentary on Ybarra’s career. Two people receive free admission with a voucher available here.
Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
Get involved and register to vote. Click on the link to find out the locations on the Main and Downtown Campuses.
Multiple locations on the Main and Downtown Campuses
Learn about products and services available for studying, working, and making it to graduation! Speak directly to OIT managers, provide feedback on UTSA tech, and have your voice heard! Lunch and OIT gear provided. RSVP at: www.utsa.edu/oit/sic.
University Center, Denman Ballroom (2.01.28), Main Campus
Come meet the candidates looking to take home the crown as Mr. and Ms. UTSA 2017-2018. This is your opportunity to hear the candidates platform and learn how they plan to represent and transform UTSA.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
UTSA's Friends of Shakespeare hosts this annual performance seried by Actors from the London Stage, Sept. 27, 29 and 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Arts Building, Recital Hall (ARTS 2.03.02), Main Campus
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