A hacked business scares some consumers away - for good

If your business gets hacked, expect to lose a significant portion of your customers – for good. This is according to a new report released by Alertsec, the cloud-based encryption company. Its Brand Perception Study, based on a poll of 1,200 Americans, says 17 per cent of women, and 11 per cent of men, would permanently lose trust in a hacked company. 

Almost a third (29 per cent) would need months, and 22 per cent would need a month to return.  Men are also more likely (16 per cent) to switch brands after a hack, than women (6 per cent). For more than a third (35 per cent), a hack means the company was sloppy. Another third (32 per cent) said it is the result of a lack of professionalism, while 26 per cent said the company would become a great target for lawsuits. 

“This is no surprise to me,” said Ebba Blitz, CEO of Alertsec. “People’s personal information is, in many ways, the key to their financial and psychological well-being. When a company has allowed their customers’ data to fall into the hands of criminals, the resulting lack of trust is difficult to repair.” 

When a data breach occurs, two thirds (67 per cent) check to see if their data is safe or not, while another third (35 per cent) worry about it, even if they are not directly connected to the hacked company. In 29 per cent of cases, a hack will motivate them to amp up their own security.