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A recent study by CreditCards.com has revealed that nearly half of major credit and debit cardholders are reluctant to shop at previously breached retailers this upcoming holiday season.

shopping-after-breachThe study found 45 percent of respondents said they would “definitely” or “probably not” shop at a retailer that has recently exposed consumers’ personal or financial information, even if they were frequent customers.

Additionally, only one in eight respondents stated they were more likely shop with credit cards this season, while 48 percent of respondents plan to shop for the holidays with cash, instead.

Survey respondents included 865 randomly selected cardholders living in the United States contacted by phone from October 2-5 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

However, despite some hesitation from certain customers, not all shoppers are likely to boycott a retailer after being hacked.

The study also discovered that the highest-income households ($75,000 income or above) were the least likely to avoid impacted stores, compared to 56 percent of those with earnings of less than $30,000 per year.

The list of breached mega retailers continues to grow significantly following the highly-publicized breach that compromised the information of 40 million Target shoppers last holiday season, now including Home Depot, Kmart, Michaels and Neiman Marcus.

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there have been 606 data breaches in this year alone amounting to more than 77 million records exposed.

Ken Westin,Tripwire security researcher, says the increasing number and variety of breaches and security incidents has become a reflection of consumers’ reliance on technology and connectivity.

“We are now living in an age where cybercrime has become conventional crime,” says Westin. “Criminals have moved online simply because that is where the money is. Most of the breaches we see today can be traced to one common motivating factor greed.”

Westin adds the retail breaches we are increasingly seeing have netted criminal syndicates millions of dollars as breaches have become a repeatable and recurring revenue source.

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