The holidays would not be complete without gifts for the ones we love, but with coronavirus cases rising and physical retail locations shutting down due to lockdowns, more consumers are opting to do their shopping online.
According to Generali Global Assistance’s 4th Annual Holiday Identity Theft Survey — some of which is illustrated in the slideshow above — among those who avoided it entirely prior to this year, comfort with online shopping has grown substantially. In fact, 73% of those who avoided online shopping in the past agree they have become more comfortable shopping online since the start of the pandemic.
Unfortunately, with the increased popularity of online shopping, identity thieves have more opportunities than ever to steal sensitive information from unsuspecting consumers. With major data breaches like the one that impacted Home Depot customers in 2014 still in the news, it’s no surprise that 66% of Americans are concerned about their personal information being compromised due to data breaches this holiday season. Additionally, nearly 4 in 5 respondents indicated they will now think twice before doing business with a breached retailer.
Consumers are already facing enough challenges this holiday season, with many family get-togethers likely canceled and traditional holiday events put on hold for the safety of all. As a consumer-facing business, while your customers focus on keeping their family healthy by opting to stay at home, insurers can help ease their minds about one thing: keeping their identities safe.
Identity theft is viewed as a threat this year by over 2 in 5 American consumers, according to our recent survey findings. 61% of U.S. consumers indicate that data breaches of online merchants or credit card providers are still the biggest threats to their identity. While 28% perceive having their identity stolen due to a COVID-19-related scam as the greatest threat to their personal info, whether it be a COVID-related employment scam, a health scam, a tax scam, or a puppy scam.
With the majority of shopping moving to online channels, retailers should always put the security of their customers’ sensitive data first. Insurers can work together with their clients in the retail space to give them the ability to offer identity protection services as a way to provide peace of mind. More consumers understand the need for identity theft protection today, as indicated by the fact that 64% of American shoppers would feel more secure doing business with a retailer if that retailer offered them identity protection services.
Insurers can also help credit card users destress by working with providers to extend identity theft protection to their cardholders. One-way consumers can protect themselves while holiday shopping this year is to reduce the number of credit cards they use while shopping. Reducing the number of cards used while shopping reduces the number of data points connected to your identity that exist on the web. It also makes it easier to catch fraudulent charges when they do occur since you only need to monitor one account. As an insurer, if you provide identity protection services, you can help a credit card provider give its customers peace of mind through the added protection you provide as an insurer.
The pandemic has caused some major shifts in underlying consumer behavior as the government required lockdowns force brick and mortar closures to contain the spread of the disease. This has pushed customers to conduct their shopping online, creating a variety of touchpoints for hackers and scammers to leverage for their benefit.
As an insurer, you can offer identity protection services to some of the key intermediaries so they can offer consumers a much-needed gift this year, peace of mind.
Paige Schaffer ([email protected]) is CEO of Global Identity and Cyber Protection services for Generali Global Assistance (GGA). She has been with the company since 2007. She currently sits on three boards and leverages her business acumen in the field to offer GGA solutions to organizations that can provide their customers with a service and experience that brings peace of mind. Ms. Schaffer serves as a voice for the industry advocating for the protection of customers and providing guidance on how to best protect their identities both physically and digitally.